The nation’s largest hog producer and pork processor says it is well positioned to meet the increasing demand for ractopamine-free pork. Smithfield Foods says it has been leveraging its integrated platform to supply customers with ractopamine-free pork for some time. Larry Pope – Smithfield President and CEO – says the company is uniquely qualified to deliver differentiated products to customers. A Smithfield plant in Clinton, North Carolina has been 100-percent ractopamine-free since last year – and the largest pork processing plant in the world – located in Tar Heel, North Carolina – will be fully ractopamine-free by the 1st of March. These two plants will handle 43-thousand ractopamine-free hogs per day.
Russia and China recently announced their markets will only be open to ractopamine-free pork. Pope says Smithfield is in contact with the U.S. government and with customers in both overseas markets to encourage the U.S., Chinese and Russian governments to develop certification protocols. Pope also emphasized the effectiveness and safety of ractopamine – noting it has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. He also points out that it has been used in hog production for many years to produce lean pork – and says Smithfield will continue to produce pork with and without the feed additive to meet the specifications of various customers.