WARSAW, N.C. — Smithfield Foods’ livestock production subsidiary Murphy-Brown LLC said it is on schedule to complete the certification and farm site assessment components of the Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA Plus) program for all 480 company-owned and contract grower-owned swine production farms (1,700) in the United States before the end of 2009.

"PQA Plus certification is further evidence of Murphy-Brown's industry- leading commitment to socially responsible, sustainable pork production and continual improvement," said Don Butler, director of government relations and public affairs for the company and chairman of the Murphy-Brown Animal Welfare committee.

PQA Plus is an enhanced version of the pork industry's comprehensive quality-assurance program originally introduced in 1989. The program was recently upgraded to include new "Good Production Practices" and an on-farm assessment, which incorporates a careful examination of animal care practices. PQA Plus certification and the accompanying site assessments will be renewed on an ongoing basis.

PQA Plus certification is an important component of a broad commitment that Murphy-Brown has made to the U.S. pork industry's Statement of Ethical Principles. These principles include a commitment to: Produce Safe Food, Protect and Promote Animal Well-being, Ensure Practices to Protect Public Health, Safeguard Natural Resources, Provide a Safe Work Environment and Contribute to a Better Quality of Life in our Communities.

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