Smithfield Foods has announced it will process only hogs born and raised in the United States, effective April 2009.

The announcement comes as new labeling regulations become effective for various meat, fruit and vegetable products. As of Sept. 30, 2008, mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) is required for all covered commodities supplied directly or indirectly to a retailer.

Smithfield’s Sept. 24 statement says it intends to procure only hogs born and raised in the United States at its U.S. facilities. The company says labeling will be used to communicate this to consumers.

“Smithfield expects that any independent producer who wishes to be a valued supplier of live animals to Smithfield will work with the company between now and the end of March to create a fully documented and transparent supply of hogs born and raised in the USA,” the statement says.