A referendum on the Pork Checkoff Program in the USA will not be held, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Too few producers and importers voted in favour of a referendum.
Some pork producers had requested that the USDA should conduct a continuation referendum on the pork programme.
Too few pork producers and importers, however, voted in favour of holding one. USDA said 15% of the eligible 69,446 producers and importers were required to request the referendum, or 10,417, and that only 94 said they wanted the vote.
The USA has had a national pork checkoff programme since 1988. The current checkoff rate is $0.45 per $100 value of all hogs and pigs sold. The funds are used in national pork promotion, research and education programmes, which are typically developed and operated under contract with the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC).
It was not the first time an attempt was made to cancel to checkoff programme. In the late 1990’s an effort by some pork producers and producer groups was initiated to petition the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct a referendum of pork producers to determine if the mandatory national pork checkoff programme should continue.