Here at Johnsonville/Sustainable Swine Resources (SSR), we take animal health and safety very seriously. One of the ways we show that and provide insight to our customers is by working with only farmers who are PQA+ certified to provide the highest quality porcine products possible.
If you haven’t heard of PQA+ certification before, we are here to tell you about PQA+, the benefits, and how working with PQA+ certified farmers provide you with peace of mind knowing that the pigs we work with are cared for properly by those who raised them.
What is PQA+?
Pork Quality Assurance Plus (PQA+) is a certification program aimed at pig farmers and their staff to enhance their production practices. The program focuses on several aspects, such as food safety, animal welfare, environmental sustainability, worker safety, public health, and community welfare. This program helps them maintain high-quality standards in their pig producing process.
There are two steps that pig farmers must go through before they can earn their PQA+ certification and begin working with SSR. The first step is by completing the education program online. Next, pig farmers must earn their PQA+ certification by going through an on-farm assessment with a PQA+ advisor. Once both tasks are completed, a producer is qualified to work with SSR
What do PQA+ Certified Farmers Do Differently?
While it is one thing to have an understanding of the best practices, it is another to put them into action. Farmers who are PQA+ certified will take the things they learned and provide a better environment for the pigs, staff, and community by implementing the following procedures.
- Established herd health management plans and vaccine protocols
This ensures that the farmers are keeping their livestock healthy and working to prevent diseases within their animal population.
- Established feed processing and feed biosecurity protocols
Feed processing and feed biosecurity are both crucial aspects of animal nutrition and health. Feed processing ensures that livestock receive a high-quality, nutritious, and safe diet, while feed biosecurity prevents the introduction and spread of disease-causing agents through the pig’s food.
- Practices good environmental stewardship
PQA+ certified farmers look to protect and preserve the environment and reduce the impact of their activities on the ecosystem. There are many different ways to practice environmental stewardship including but not limited to: measures to reduce soil erosion, conserve water resources, promote soil health, and reduce waste and pollution.
- Ensures pigs are raised in a caring, humane manner and transported safely
Best practices are outlined to ensure the health and wellbeing of the pigs raised on PQA+ farms. This also includes how pigs are safely transported. PQA+ certification ensures that the farmers we work with are properly running their operation and taking the best care of their animals.
Farmers we work with must be recertified every three years and update their knowledge and pig production skills on a regular basis. This helps farmers and their employees stay up to date on the latest industry developments and best practices.
How Does SSR Working with PQA+ Certified Famers Help with Your Business?
After reading all about PQA+ certification, it could leave you asking, “How does that help my business”?
- Meet Certain Guidelines for Different Industries
Industries like the medical field have strict guidelines. Working with PQA+ certified farmers meet the medical device requirements outlined in FDA ISO guidelines for medical devices containing materials derived from animal sources.
- Ensures Food Safety
Because these pigs were raised with PQA+ certified farmers, it means that they were active in preventing diseases, as well as feeding their hogs high-quality feed, which in turn leads to healthier, safer food sources.
- Improved Animal Welfare
Everyone wants to feel good about where their product is coming from. When you work with SSR, you can be sure that the pigs were taken care of and were raised in a humane manner.
We are happy to share additional information about PQA+ certification requirements and where our tissues are derived from. If you think your business can benefit from a partnership with SSR, contact us today!
With SSR and Johnsonville LLC, we offer flexible partnership options. Let's explore how we can work together to achieve your goals.