USDA ANNOUNCES SETTLEMENT WITH NPPC OVER PORK CHECKOFF
The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced a settlement with a group independent pork producers, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), and the Michigan Pork Producer Association that will continue the Pork Checkoff Program. Under the settlement, certain program restructuring is required.
The changes, effective immediately, are designed to ensure the separation of the National Pork Board and the NPPC and make the program more responsive to concerns of pork producers.
The restructuring requires the National Pork Board to:
• Employ its own management and staff, including the chief executive officer and chief financial officer;
• Manage separate contracts for promotion, research, and consumer information projects;
• Maintain separate office operations from the NPPC; and
• Maintain separate communications from the NPPC.
Under the agreement, state pork producer associations, including the Alabama Pork Producers, will continue to operate independently and be accountable for checkoff funds but may cooperate on projects and communications with state affiliate organizations of the National Pork Producers Council.
The Pork Board will have approximately two years to demonstrate to producers and importers the value of the checkoff program to the industry.USDA will conduct a survey by June 2003 to determine whether 15 percent of producers and importers are in favor of conducting a referendum to decide continuation of the checkoff program. If the required number of producers and importers request a referendum, the referendum would then be held within one year.