In the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this year (National Pork Producers Council v. Ross) that allows California’s Prop 12 to take effect, hog producers around the nation are having to decide if they’re going to change their operations to comply.
National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) President Scott Hays says it’s an individual choice, and one his family farm turned down.
“If you think about it from a producer perspective, most of the cost is borne by the producer. There’s a little bit of cost in the segregation after it leaves the farm, but most of the cost is up to the producer. So, the only revenue from that comes directly from the consumer, they’re going to have to pay more. We don’t know yet whether they’re going to be willing to do that,” he said during a media roundtable. “And even if they do, that consumer dollar then has to pass from the retailer down through a couple of two or three channels before it gets back to the producer. And for my family, we’re just not willing to bet the farm that all that’s going to happen.”
He says he’s hopeful that Congressman Glenn G.T. Thompson (R-PA-15), Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, can follow through on his comments on using the next Farm Bill to address the rule.
“Even the Supreme Court finds this is a problem. They didn’t think it was their problem. And they encourage Congress to fix this. So, we would echo that. We believe that Congress needs to fix this,” he said. “We understand it’s a complicated issue, and we start talking about all of commerce between states. But we do need to fix, and we very much appreciate Congressman Thompson being a champion and trying to get this resolved.”
According to the California rule, as of July 1, 2023, producers must comply with Prop 12 regulations. Pork that was already in cold storage before that July 1 deadline can still be sold in the state until the end of the year.