Uncertainty Over Proposition 12 Challenge Pork Producers

Farmscape for April 21, 2021

The National Pork Producers Council says uncertainty surrounding Proposition 12 creates significant challenges for pork producers.
The North American Meat Institute is challenging the constitutionality of California's Proposition 12, a ballot initiative passed in 2018 and due to come into effect January 1st, which raises the minimum space requirements for veal calves, breeding pigs and egg-laying hens and bans the sales of products in that state from animals from farms that don't meet the new standards.
National Pork Producers Council Assistant Vice President and General Counsel Michael Formica told reporters participating in the NPPC's legislative action conference last week the organization is engaged with the state of California to educate them to the hurdles of Proposition 12 and what is and isn't feasible for the pork sector.

Clip-Michael Formica-National Pork Producers Council:
One of our big concerns beyond just Prop 12 itself is that under Prop 12 California was supposed to release final regulation back on September 1, 2019.
It's now April, 2021.
Prop 12 contemplated and expected we'd have over two years after those regulations come out to figure out how to comply and California has not even proposed regulations yet.
That's causing a lot of concern within the industry and it's probably one of the reasons that more producers haven't started making investments.
A lot of producers are looking at options.
We hear about a lot of packers looking at options.
But, as a recent Rabobank report indicated, there has not been a lot of conversion going on and there’s likely to be some lag in when those conversions happen because producers don't know what the court case is going to say and they don't know what the California regulations are going to require.

In addition to hurting farmers, Proposition 12 is expected to drive up the cost of pork for California's consumers.
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Bruce Cochrane.

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