DAVIS, CALIF. — The National Pork Board (NPB) recently formed a partnership with the Clarity and Leadership for Environmental Awareness and Research (CLEAR) Center at the University of California, Davis. NPB is donating $600,000 to the CLEAR Center’s sustainability in animal agriculture research.

“Working with the National Pork Board aligns with our land grant mission to research and share work through extension and outreach that is of value to society,” said Frank Mitloehner, UC Davis professor and director of CLEAR. “The center’s partnership with the swine sector highlights the trust producers have in us to find solutions that benefit our environment while helping to ensure high-quality food is produced.”

With NPB’s funding, the CLEAR Center will research pork sustainability practices that can provide a foundation for future environmental initiatives in pork production.

Citing a Pork-Checkoff-funded life cycle analysis, the CLEAR Center noted that pork producers reduced their environmental footprint by nearly 8% from 1960 to 2015. During that period, the producers reduced land, water and energy use by 75%, 25% and 7%, respectively.

“While the pork industry has made great strides in sustainability, they continually strive to do better,” Mitloehner said. “The opportunity to work with the sector to improve environmental impacts of such an important commodity is significant.”

In 2008, NPB formed the We Care Ethical Principles, which guides the group’s commitment to the environment, animal wellbeing, food safety, public health, workers and communities.

“Our We Care Ethical Principles and commitment to continuous improvement through fact-based research drives our sustainability strategy,” said Dale Stevermer, NPB board member. “Farmers will benefit from the collaboration with CLEAR because we are working with respected researchers at a top-notch land grant university and supporting their efforts to communicate research results to various stakeholders.”