Virginia-based Smithfield Foods, which claims to be the world’s largest pork processor, has launched its antibiotic-free range of fresh pork cuts, hams and packaged meat for retail and foodservice.
The Pure Farms brand under which the products are sold guarantees produce meets the highest production standards enshrined by the US Department of Agriculture. This includes minimal processing, with all pigs reared without antibiotics, growth-enhancing steroids like ractopamine, hormones or artificial ingredients.
The new line affirms the company’s “leadership practices” in antibiotic stewardship and upholds standards of “transparency”, Smithfield said.
“The Pure Farms brand is ideal for families looking to enjoy the highest-quality, antibiotic-free pork,” said Ken Sullivan, president and CEO at Smithfield Foods.
“We’re proud to provide our customers and consumers with a broader range of products to meet a variety of needs and preferences, including antibiotic-free.”
Stewart Leeth, vice-president of regulatory affairs and chief sustainability officer at Smithfield Foods, said the new product line showed the hog producing business understood that people’s demand for food, particularly meat, was changing.
“This new line from Pure Farms reflects Smithfield’s continued commitment to meeting the needs of all consumers, with good food that is made the right way,” said Leeth.
“This commitment led to the creation of this new line and other bold steps we continue to take to ensure our products exceed our customers’ and consumers’ expectations.”
The $14bn-valued company claims it is the only meat processor in the industry to report antibiotic usage since 2007. Routine systems for reporting and benchmarking antibiotic usage in the agriculture sector are not in place in the US, but the Centre for Disease Control and Inspection wants schemes piloted nationwide.