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American Meat Institute Statement On USDA Pork Purchase Announcement

Monday, September 9, 2002

The American Meat Institute applauds USDA’s decision to purchase $30 million worth of pork for the nation’s School Lunch Program and humanitarian food aid programs.

A drought in the Midwest has forced some producers to take more hogs to slaughter earlier than planned, creating an oversupply of hogs for slaughter and driving prices down to the lowest levels in more than three years. Record supplies of pork, beef, chicken and turkey also have created a glut of protein in the domestic U.S. market. This oversupply has created a serious crisis for many hog producers.

Secretary Veneman’s decision to purchase pork, and USDA’s indication that future purchases may be possible, will not only bring a nutritious, high quality product to school children and others in need, it will help ease the pressure on hog producers nationwide and move protein through marketing channels.

Pork production and processing is a vital part of the U.S. economy. Today’s announcement bolsters pork producers, the agriculture economy and even the U.S. economy. It is imperative that packers and producers work together cooperatively to market additional supplies of pork, which will help brighten the outlook for producers even further.

AMI represents the interests of packers and processors of beef, pork, lamb, veal and turkey products and their suppliers throughout North America. Together, AMI's members produce 95 percent of the beef, pork, lamb and veal products and 70 percent of the turkey products in the U.S. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute provides legislative, regulatory, public relations, technical, scientific and educational services to the industry. Its affiliate, the AMI Foundation, is a separate 501(c)3 organization that conducts research, education and information projects for the industry.

For more information contact:
Janet Riley
Vice President, Public Affairs
Josee Daoust
Manager, Public Affairs

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