At Walmart and Sam’s Club we are committed to providing our customers with safe, affordable, and sustainable food as well as promoting the humane treatment of animals. We seek continuous improvement in animal welfare practices within our fresh pork supply chain. As a result, in addition to our current programs, Walmart and Sam’s Club are launching a new tracking and audit program for our fresh pork supply. Every fresh pork supplier will be required to meet the new program requirements.
Walmart and Sam’s Club will continue to only accept fresh pork from animals raised under the standards of the National Pork Board’s (NPB’s) Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus Program. Specific new tracking and audit requirements include:
- Each fresh pork supplier must have on-farm video monitoring for sow farms and will be subject to unannounced animal welfare video audits by an accredited and independent third-party.
- Implementation of video monitoring on sow farms must be complete on 20% of production supplied to Walmart and Sam’s Club on sow farms by the end of 2014, with another 20% of production added each year for the next 4 years. This will result in 100% coverage by the end of 2018.
- Until all farms have video monitoring, an accredited and independent third-party will conduct annual on-site audits on farms without the technology. Farms will be given 72 hours notice.
- Each fresh pork supplier must implement an internal annual animal welfare audit for all farms that includes a grading system and corrective action tracking. This must occur at all farms.
- These audits must be done by PQA Plus-certified personnel and must include annual audits and probable abuse audits.
- These audits will be done with 72 hours notice.
- The supplier must retain records on the audit results, including the grade, corrective actions and PQA Plus certification number.
- Each supplier must make the documentation and results of the tracking and audit program available to Walmart as requested, but not less than twice annually.
- Walmart and Sam’s Club will work with suppliers to determine an acceptable level of required performance after a benchmark is determined based on the supplier information.
In addition, Walmart and Sam’s Club will make the following NPB PQA Plus program requirements mandatory:
- Each supplier must not only ensure that key management personnel are PQA Plus Certified but also require each production site to ensure that key management personnel that handle pigs are PQA Plus Certified.
- Each site must participate in the NPB third-party verification pool.
At Walmart and Sam’s Club we value our relationships with US pork producers who are dedicated to providing the highest in quality and safety with through practices that promote animal wellbeing. Our goal is to build more transparency and confidence in the fresh pork supply chain and in the pork industry overall through the above program.