It is very disconcerting that retailers, in making decisions about sourcing pork products, continue tosuccumb to the pressure of activist groups such as the Humane Society of the United States without anyconsideration of the impact on American farm families, who produce the safe and affordable pork that
they sell to consumers.

These unilateral and impulsive announcements are made without any recognitionthat nearly all of the pork products produced in the United States today come from facilities built for thevalidated practice of gestation stalls.

Nowhere in the announcements is there any discussion on the willingness of these companies to pay forthese requests. These are very complex issues that require interaction of the complete supply chain. Simplymaking an announcement without understanding the supply chain's ability to meet the requests or thecosts associated with them are simply irresponsible. Our customers need to understand that these announcements come with severe and unintended consequences.

We believe there is a responsibility to ensure that there is transparency, and these food retailers have an obligation to assure their customers that the product they are purchasing is coming from verified sources.

These forced changes on our producers' choice of sow housing may very well put hog farmers out of business and will certainly increase the price of pork for consumers.

We are American farm families and take great pride in our track record of producing a safe, affordable and healthful food for the American consumer. We think we deserve to be part of these decisions that are being asked of us.