Fresh Food

U.S. Pork Industry Shares How it Brings Sustainable Protein to the Meat Case

America’s pig farmers have made tremendous progress toward producing more sustainable pork, and the path forward will not diverge from the core principles that have made the industry successful.
National Pork Board

Today's grocery shoppers want it alltaste, affordability and, increasingly, the assurance the food they purchase was raised in a sustainable manner. A 2021 survey found nearly 60%of U.S. consumers say it’s “important that the food they purchase or consume is produced in an environmentally sustainable way.”1 Additional global research conducted in 2020 also highlighted that three-fourths of global consumers expect companies to invest in sustainability2, while a 57% average annual growth was reported in global food and beverage launches carrying an ethical or environmental claim3.

Acknowledging this ask of food consumers, America’s 60,000+ pig farmers are determined to better monitor and measure their efforts in sustainability with the release of the industry’s 2021 SustainabilityReport, providing stakeholders and companies across the food supply chain with the transparency and data needed to give shoppers confidence in choosing pork at the meat case.

Continued progress built on industry-leading principles

Established more than 15 years ago, the We Care® Ethical Principles are the pork industry’s steadfast commitments to ensure farmers uphold the highest standards and constantly strive toward improvement. Comprised of six principles—Food Safety, Animal Well-being, Our People, Public Health, Environment and Our Communitythey collectively codify the industry’s commitment to doing the right thing for people, pigs and the planet.

Guided by these principles, the pork industry recently set ambitious goals for future improvement, committing to further progress on environmental, societal and economic measures, all of which consumers continue to show vested interest4 in when making food purchasing decisions.

A legacy of sustainability for the next generation

The industry’s 2021 sustainability report highlights pig farmers’ commitment to goals directly affecting consumers, including goals to improve water use efficiency, soil health and land use and work toward making 100% of fresh pork products traceable through the entire supply chain by 2030.

America’s pig farmers have always been committed to sustainability practices and doing what’s right for people, pigs and the planet. As a result, they’ve made tremendous progress toward producing more sustainable pork, and the path forward will not diverge from the core principles that have made the industry successful.

“If pig farms weren’t sustainable, we wouldn’t be evolving as pioneers in food production,” said Marlowe Ivey, pig farmer in North Carolina and executive director, Feed the Dialogue. “Pig farmers are constantly improving and that’s a big part of our farm’s sustainability goals to carry on what my dad started for the next generation of producers and consumers.”

To learn more about how America’s pig farmers are continuing to track progress in sustainably providing nutrient-rich pork to consumers from farm to fork, click here.

1” Sustainability in Motion.” North America, Kerry Ingredients, 2021.

2 Innova Database, Global, Top Ten Trends Survey 2020

3 Innova Database, Global, 2013-2017

4 Checkoff funded research with Heart + Mind Strategies, Oct 2021

This post is sponsored by National Pork Board