Prop 12 a ‘Tough Situation’ for the Pork Industry

By Tim Hammerich with the Ag Information Network

Proposition 12 was passed by referendum back in 2018 and is scheduled to come into effect in 2022. There’s still a lot of uncertainty about how the law, which establishes new standards for confinement of specified farm animals, will be executed. Christine McCracken is executive director and protein analyst at Rabobank.

“The industry is kind of put into, you know, this difficult position of being faced with a rule that will make a lot of the pork that we raise here in the U.S. ineligible for sale in California without some pretty major legal consequences and financial consequences,” said McCracken.

The controversy is surrounding the fact that the law requiring certain growing conditions applies to all pork sold in California, regardless of where it is raised.

“It’s a tough position to be in for everyone: the retailer obviously, and not knowing whether or not they’ll have a lot of pork to sell. It’s tough for the processor, you know, with the potential of not having the visibility to encourage those changes and not knowing whether or not they’ll have enough pigs to process for California,” said McCracken.

“And for the producer, you know, they obviously have the added risk of not having markets for their pigs. So it’s, it’s a tough kind of industry situation at the moment,” noted McCracken.

Industry groups have filed lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the measure.