USDA boosts pork production efficiency with line speed trials

USAgNet - 02/29/2024

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) recently praised the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) for extending the line speed trials of the New Swine Inspection System through January 2025. This decision is part of a broader effort to examine the effects of increased line speeds on both production efficiency and worker safety.

Since 2019, the NPPC has been a strong advocate for faster line speeds, arguing that such measures are crucial for increasing national harvest capacity by over three percent. This boost is seen as essential for providing pork producers with more stability during fluctuating times.

Originally, in 2021, the FSIS allowed six pork packing plants to increase their line speeds while collecting data on the potential impacts on workers. Following a positive assessment, the FSIS has now decided to further extend these trials, incorporating a comprehensive study on worker safety.

The urgency of these trials is underscored by economic analyses suggesting that without these speed increases, pork producers might face significant financial losses. By potentially averting nearly $10 loss per head in early 2024, these measures are critical for the industry’s sustainability.

The NPPC continues to work closely with the FSIS, emphasizing the importance of these trials for expanding packing capacity and addressing supply chain challenges. This collaboration highlights a shared commitment to enhancing the pork industry's efficiency while ensuring the safety and well-being of its workers.

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