The American Berkshire Association (ABA) is the first U.S. swine breed organization to earn the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Process Verified designation for its meat delivery system.

The ABA’s 100% Pure Berkshire pork program designation became effective Nov. 14, 2003 and will be reviewed in April 2004. Thereafter, the program will be reviewed annually.

The Berkshire program makes three claims:

  • All pork under the program label is pure Berkshire pork, and the parents of all market animals sold in the program are purebred, pedigreed Berkshires.
  • Production can be traced back to the farms where the pigs were raised, and
  • All pork is produced using Level III Good Production Practices of the National Pork Board’s Pork Quality Assurance program.

The ISO 9000-based Process Verified Program requires that program standards be developed, documented and tracked through production and processing and must be audited by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.

The ABA program has taken two years to develop and implement, says Mike Hodges of Julian, NE, president of the ABA board.

More information on the ABA and its programs is available at www.americanberkshire.com/.