PigCare™

PigCare™ accredited pork

Born and Raised in New Zealand PigCare™

More than 95% of commercial pork produced in New Zealand now carries the certified label – assuring Kiwis that the pork they choose comes from pigs farmed right here in New Zealand to our high standards of welfare.

PigCare™ is the only whole of industry, independently managed and expertly verified and audited standard in the primary production sector.

The programme integrates New Zealand’s already high animal welfare standards with a focus on farmer care, knowledge and experience when it comes to providing for their animals’ health and wellbeing.

This programme provides assurance that commercial pig farmers certified under PigCare™ meet a high standard of animal welfare.

Farmers are audited annually by expertly trained auditors.

Background

PigCare™ was developed by Massey University with input from veterinarians, pig farmers, New Zealand Pork, and the Ministry for Primary Industries.

The PigCare™ certification programme has been an important tool in setting a consistently high standard for commercial pig farmers. PigCare™ is recognised by wholesalers and retailers who process and sell pork products throughout New Zealand.

Every year, the PigCare™ programme is reviewed in light of current scientific research, regulatory requirements and good practice that supports the health and wellbeing of pigs. This ensures there is ongoing improvement of the programme.

How PigCare™ works

As part of the programme, all commercial pig farmers in New Zealand are audited annually. The audit process is managed by Quality Consultants New Zealand Limited (QCONZ), an independent organisation with an established reputation in the primary industries.

An expert auditor evaluates the whole farm to provide a comprehensive assessment of a number of elements that influence animal welfare. These include the health of the pigs, the farm buildings and facilities, stockmanship, management, biosecurity and husbandry practices in addition to New Zealand’s welfare standards and regulations.

If an audit finds that the PigCare™ standards are not met, action is required. The auditor will recommend ‘corrective actions’. These actions need to be completed in an agreed timeframe. Evidence is required for a corrective action to be signed off. In many cases, a farm will be revisited. Immediate action is required where there is a welfare impact identified during an audit.

Any breach of the PigCare™ standards that impact pig welfare, or a failure to undertake corrective actions relating to animal welfare, may lead to further action such as reporting to MPI for investigation and withdrawal of the PigCare™ accreditation.

If farmers fail their PigCare™ audit, pork products from that farm cannot use the ‘Born and Raised in New Zealand’ PigCare™ certified label. As a result, they may be paid less for their pigs unless the farm receives and passes another audit.

PigCare™ programme update

(1 February 2021)

Number of Certified Farms

As at 1 February 2021 there were 85 farms certified under the PigCare™ programme.

Corrective Actions Required

As at 1 February 2021, there were 7 farms with open corrective actions.