DES MOINES – Pork producers, packers and processors have a new common swine industry auditing tool, the National Pork Board (NPB) announced.

The industry's audit platform is now certified by the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization (PAACO). PAACO builds on the existing Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus) program and expands it to serve as a single common audit platform.

"As a pork producer, I am excited because this announcement of a common platform sets a clear vision that challenges the status quo and meets domestic and international consumer needs," said Dale Norton, NPB president. "It's the right tool at the right time to ensure we provide high-quality pork from well-cared for pigs."

The Common Swine Industry audit and the PAACO-certified AMI meat plant welfare audit expands the scope of swine welfare validation/auditing to cover swine production chain from breeding through slaughter, according to PAACO. Key components of the common audit platform include a new audit tool, instructions for auditors, biosecurity protocols and a platform that will allow audit results to be shared to prevent duplication. The audit tool is ready for implementation following beta-tests on farms across the United States, the NPB noted.

"As packers, we operate between our suppliers - the pork producers - and our customers - those who are selling pork to consumers," said Chris Hodges, chairman of the Packer Processer Industry Council and senior vice president of fresh pork at Smithfield-Farmland. "The eye of the public is on where their food comes from and how it is raised. Meeting the demands of our customers, while still appreciating the challenges of our producers is tough. We are very pleased that these tools will be available to the pork industry to demonstrate the progress we continue to make with on-farm animal care."

Learn more about the common industry audit