Meat & Livestock News

NPPC Champions Key Initiatives to Support U.S. Pork Producers Amid Industry Challenges


  • The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) is actively addressing key issues for U.S. pork producers, including labour shortages, farm bill funding, and trade expansion.
  • Efforts include improving visa access for year-round industries, securing funding for animal health initiatives, and advocating for federal solutions to state regulations like California Proposition 12.
  • NPPC is also focusing on enhancing pork demand through USDA purchases, extending pork processing line speeds, and developing traceability standards for the industry.

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) is at the forefront of tackling pressing concerns for U.S. pork producers, as outlined by Cody McKinley, NPPC Vice President of Operations and State and National Relations, at the Illinois Pork Expo on January 30th. McKinley emphasised the importance of producer engagement and the council’s commitment to addressing industry challenges through comprehensive strategies.

Key Priorities for the Pork Industry:

  1. Addressing Farm Labor Shortages: The pork industry is grappling with a significant labour shortfall, despite offering higher wages and competitive benefits. McKinley highlighted the necessity of reforming labour legislation, particularly the H-2A visa program, to accommodate year-round industries like pork production.
  1. Advocating for Farm Bill Funding: The NPPC is seeking enhanced funding in the farm bill for several critical areas. These include the National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank, the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, and programs aimed at disease preparedness, response, and feral swine eradication. Additionally, there’s a push for increased support for the National Detector Dog Training Center.
  1. Expanding Trade Opportunities: With over $7.6 billion in pork exports in 2022, the NPPC is focused on opening new markets and reducing trade barriers to bolster the industry’s global presence.
  1. Navigating California Proposition 12: The NPPC supports a federal approach to avoid the complications of varying state regulations following the Supreme Court’s decision on Proposition 12, which poses challenges to market access due to animal activist initiatives.
  1. Boosting Demand through Section 32 Pork Purchases: The NPPC is working with the USDA to identify opportunities within the Section 32 program to support pork producers, highlighted by significant purchases in May and December 2023.
  1. Extending Pork Processing Line Speeds: Efforts are underway to extend the trial allowing six pork processing establishments to operate at increased line speeds, with a recent extension granted for 90 days as of November 28.
  1. Developing Traceability Standards: A task force has been established to create traceability standards for the pork industry, with a plan set to be voted on at the 2024 Pork Industry Forum.

In addition to these focal points, the NPPC is addressing other critical issues such as GIPSA rules, EPA CAFO Committee involvement, antibiotic use, NFPA sprinkler requirements, and packing plant effluent limits, demonstrating the council’s broad and proactive approach to supporting the pork industry.