Maple Leaf Consumer Foods is encouraging Canadian pork producers to participate in the Canadian Pork Council's Animal Care Assessment Program.
The Animal Care Assessment Tool was developed in 2005 by the Canadian Pork Council as a voluntary stand alone component of Canadian Quality Assurance in an effort to address public concerns related to animal welfare.
John Carney, the vice-president of live procurement and industry relations with Maple Leaf, told those on hand yesterday for the 2011 Manitoba Swine Seminar the difficult economic situation over the past several years has made it difficult for producers to focus on a program like ACA but hopefully we're past some of that difficulty and producers will see this as a key part of sustaining their industry.
Clip-John Carney-Maple Leaf Consumer Foods:
I think everybody in the pork industry realizes that there are those that oppose the sale and the consumption of protein products and we see this program, ACA, as another piece in conveying the message of the good practices that are followed on farm and in transportation and in our plants.
People can feel confident in consuming our products and enjoying the products that we produce.
I think the big thing is that, as people in the pork industry, we have a great story to tell about the way we care for our animals.
In my experience nobody cares more about their animals than our producers and that's a story that needs to be told.
I think by having a national platform that we can speak from such as ACA gives us we will speak with a unified strong voice and be able to articulate the good practices that we've been doing for years.
It's nothing new, it just gives us a better way to express what we've always been doing.
Carney says we all care for our animals so to be seen as participating in a program where we commit and demonstrate that commitment to animal care is a positive thing.
He suggests, while there are economic benefits, it's bigger than economics, it's the right thing to do and it's about we really do care.