While some American pork producers and their Congresspeople are up in arms about a new California law mandating animal welfare, NSF in the UK is offering certification to British pork producers that will meet the Golden State’s standards.
The UK arm of NSF, formerly National Sanitation Foundation, a food safety standards group, has begun offering certification to California’s Proposition 12 for British pork producers. It’s part of the foundation’s Red Tractor Certification for pork, a UK certification program for farming practices and animal welfare.
Proposition 12 is a groundbreaking animal welfare law that sets higher standards for confining certain farm animals. Passed by California voters in 2018, Prop 12 bans the sale of pork in that state unless it was produced from hogs that were raised according to humane standards. A major focus was the practice of using “gestation crates” that allowed pregnant sows barely enough room to move; under Prop 12, breeding sows must have at least 24 sq. ft. of space within their enclosures. The law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2024.
NSF noted, “Despite accounting for nearly 15% of total US pork consumption, California only produces 1% of it, making it heavily dependent on interstate and international imports. In 2022, the total import of pork in the US exceeded £1.3 billion, making the Prop 12 certification a significant market opportunity for UK pork producers.”