Today’s savvy consumers want to know more. The people who buy, sell, and eat pork want to know that pig farmers share their values and are committed to sustainability.
They want to know things like, “What are we doing with the manure, how are we planted on the land, and how much carbon is that saving? And that’s just the starting point of what we can prove to the consumers,” says Missouri farmer Scott Phillips, a member of the National Pork Board who owns and operates a farrow-to-finish operation that markets 54,000 pigs annually. He also grows corn and soybeans.
“Also, we want to show that our pig welfare has been continually improving over the last 50 years that I’ve been farming. Also, what we’re doing with workers. We’re continually providing education. You know, there was a reason people left the farm back in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. It was tough work, and it was hard, and it was dangerous. It’s not that way now.”
Phillips encourages pork producers to request an On-Farm Sustainability Report, a service provided by the Pork Checkoff.
“(The report) talks about how many acres I have that I’ve applied manure on, how many fields, how much savings in commercial fertilizer that the manure has provided, manure impact value. It talks about my impact to the community. That I hired 22 people on my farm, and that really affects the community in Drexel, Missouri where I farm. It provides good jobs. So, it’s proof points to the consumer of what we’re actually doing.”
Phillips says these reports offer immediate value to pig farmers. He has shared his report with his lender to prove to them that they are employing sustainable lending practices. The reports can also be shared with suppliers and community members.
The Pork Checkoff adds that your data is yours and will be kept confidential. You can learn more and request an On-Farm Sustainability Report at porkcheckoff.org/sustainability.