Who Will Proposition 12 Hurt The Most?
By Jennifer Shike, FarmJournal's Pork
April 27, 2021
The uncertainty surrounding Proposition 12 right now has put all U.S. producers in a challenging position, said National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) president Jen Sorenson of West Des Moines, Iowa, during a recent media briefing following NPPC’S Legislative Action Conference.
Despite discussion of trade, foreign animal disease and labor, the majority of questions centered around Proposition 12 (Prop 12) because of that uncertainty. The questions are still outpacing the answers.
“It will cost producers, individual producers, millions of dollars to make these changes and the ones least able to bear that cost will be small family farms. Loss of this market will put many farmers out of business and ultimately lead to further industry consolidation,” Sorenson said. “We're in a space where we don't have clarity, the risk is tremendous, the financial burden is tremendous.”
Pork producers won’t be the only ones hurt by Prop 12, said Michael Formica, NPPC assistant vice president and general counsel. Residents of California are going to be hurt, too. The state has the highest number of people in any state living under the poverty level.
“We're coming out of this horrific COVID crisis, the economy's in shambles and Prop 12 is going to remove the protein of choice for 55% to 60% of California residents as a low-cost option. The pork that they will have is going to be significantly more expensive there. Prop 12 will hurt and is hurting hog farmers, but Prop 12 is also going to hurt moms and children and families living in California,” Formica said.
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