Global sustainability standards for pork coming

A new set of global standards for sustainable pork production is in the works, according to a speaker at the Kansas Ag Growth Summit.

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The World Business Council for Sustainable Development is working on the Responsible Meat Initiative for Pork

A new set of global standards for sustainable pork production is on the horizon, said Dr. Brett Kaysen, vice president of sustainability for the National Pork Board (NPB).

Kaysen, who spoke during a virtual pork segment for the Kansas Ag Growth Summit on July 6, highlighted the sustainability efforts being made in the industry – in Kansas and nationally.

During the event, Kaysen was asked if he thought there would ever be sustainability requirements in order for the U.S. to export pork products to foreign markets.

“It’s coming, and actually, to be quite frank, folks, it’s here,” Kaysen responded.

Kaysen told summit attendees of an organization called the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

“That council is made up of 200 of the most powerful CEOs in the world. They currently are putting a framework together called the Responsible Meat Initiative for Pork. Their goal is they want to set these standards globally that pig farmers would have to meet to merchandise, buy and move product. This is all at a high level,” he said.

Fortunately, an allied industry partner of the pork board was also a part of the WBCSD, Kaysen explained, and that person advised that, before establishing the standards, the WBCSD should connect with the NPB and the Pork Checkoff, which already has sustainability goals in place and data compiled.

While Kaysen acknowledged that not all of the NPB’s sustainability framework matches what the WBCSD will eventually release, he said: “When their goals come out live, you will find them eerily similar to what (U.S.) pig farmers have created.”

The summit will also hold virtual sessions on the equine, specialty crop, and feed and forage sectors in advance of the in-person summit, scheduled for August 18. A session related to the food processing sector was already held.

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