California announces modifications to Prop 12 implementation

California’s Department of Food and Ag has announced modifications to the implementation of Proposition 12, providing some relief to the pork industry.

Iowa State University ag economist Lee Schulz says the six-month grace period was welcome news.  “We know now that the CDFA will not enforce it till the end of the year,” he says. “In their language, it’s really anything that is in production is going to be able to work through that supply chain.”

He tells Brownfield that will also allow producers a little more time to become Prop 12 compliant, but even more time may be needed.  “I say that because when you think about the pork we’re consuming today, it was based on production decisions 10 to 18 months ago.”

Schulz says there are producers who have already started building or have modified current facilities to become compliant.  However, that didn’t come without some risk. “Any changes in production practices are costly,” he says.  “It could be possible that they had secured premiums for production that met those guidelines, or maybe not.  And also, you know those premiums are needed to last over the lifetime of the investment.”

National Pork Producers Council CEO Bryan Humphreys says the six months of additional relief for products in the supply chain allows grocery stores to remain stocked and ensures Californians have uninterrupted access to affordable pork products.  He says the solution is temporary, but does ease the transition process for the entire pork value chain, including foreign trading partners.

AUDIO: Lee Schulz, Iowa State University

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