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In a bid to build and retain consumer trust, America’s pork producers are launching “We Care,” an initiative that’s supported and encouraged by the National Pork Producers Council, National Pork Board, state pork associations, and allied industry.
“‘We Care' is an all-encompassing philosophy on how the pork industry approaches the marketplace,” said Jarrod Sutton, director of retail marketing for the National Pork Board. "As an industry, we are tasked with being viewed by the public as being self-regulated and earning the trust of others. The first step of building trust and social responsibility in the 'We Care' initiative came with the adoption of the industry's Statement of Ethical Principals."
The effort began in March at the Pork Industry Forum, when a group of producer leaders drafted six guiding principles for the industry, and delegates in attendance ratified them.
In those principles, producers affirmed their obligation to: produce safe food; safeguard natural resources in all industry practices; provide a work environment that is safe and consistent with the industry's other ethical principles; contribute to a better quality of life in communities; protect and promote animal well-being and; ensure practices to protect public health.
"These six principles help define who we are and what the industry's core values are,” said Dallas Hockman, v.p. of industry relations for the National Pork Producers Council. “We have to prove this to earn consumers' trust. These ethical principles are to be the platform from which we carry ourselves forward. We are ethically grounded, scientifically verified and economically viable - a balance for success."
"Our unified group is spending a lot of time talking with packers, retailers and others in the industry so they understand what we are doing,” added Sutton. “As the costs of food continue to increase, our customers need to know what we are doing so they can explain it to consumers who are shopping their stores everyday."