Prop 12, Trade Are Important Topics During NPPC Fly-In

Almost 100 pork producers took part in the annual D.C. Fly-In hosted by the National Pork Producers Council. NPPC President Lori Stevermer says they have many issues to talk about, with international trade near the top of the list.

She says, “International trade and exports are keys to our industry. We did just over $8 billion worth of trade last year in exports, and that’s roughly about 26 percent of our pork products, which adds about $64 worth of value. Our efforts this year are going to be focused on continuing to be able to have access to the markets that we’re in, in addition to looking at expanding to new markets.”

California’s Proposition 12 is another big concern that pork farmers will discuss with legislators. Stevermer says, “Prop 12 has been a challenge and an issue that I have dealt with my whole time on the board. And so we are looking forward to the farm bill as finding a federal solution for Prop 12. That’s what the Supreme Court said. It’s an issue, and it said that Congress needs to fix it. So, we’re looking to Congress to fix it. And as we talk about the situation, the comments that I hear from producers are, ‘We don’t want a patchwork of regulations across the country.’ And so, we’re looking to get that federal solution to avoid that patchwork.”

Prop 12 isn’t just a challenge for farmers according to Stevermer.

She says, “Some of the things that we were concerned about with Prop 12 and how it would affect consumers, we’re seeing come to fruition. There was a study that was done by the USDA Office of Economics, and we’re seeing prices of select pork products 20 percent higher in California now that Prop 12 was in effect versus before Prop 12. We’re also seeing consumption of fresh pork declining eight to 10 percent. So higher prices, lower availability, is not the right situation in California, especially for those individuals that already have concerns about food availability and food affordability.”

Story courtesy of the NAFB News Service