SD pork producers prepare for Prop 12

The executive director of the South Dakota Pork Producers Council says the state’s pork producers are preparing for Proposition 12 to go into effect at the end of the year.

Glenn Muller tells Brownfield producers are trying to decide if it’s worth it to adjust their production and comply with Proposition 12 requirements.

“There are some producers who are willing to make additional investments, but there is a cost associated with that. There has to be a premium offered for the product that meets those compliance requirements,” says Muller. “That’s the delicate balance we have right now. If you’re willing to pay a premium, you can establish the standards.”

California’s Proposition 12 would require livestock to be raised under strict production practices. Muller says national organizations are working with the California Ag Department and Attorney General to better understand the regulation before the full implementation at the end of the year.

“Currently, they’re trying to work through the food already in the channels. How do we make sure those folks aren’t penalized and that the California residents have an adequate supply of pork for their needs.”

He says producers should work with companies to understand any contract changes that take place because of Prop 12.

“Make sure you get a premium for your products so it will be self supporting and that you have a long-term agreement with those folks to supply those needs, if you choose. As a whole, we’re still looking at freedom of choice and let the economy drive the market.”

And Muller says the council remains optimistic for production standards to be unified across the country through federal legislation.  

Brownfield interviewed Muller at the South Dakota Governor’s Ag Summit in Watertown, South Dakota.

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