100% Program

100% Pure Berkshire Pork® Program

The Oldest Swine Registry
The American Berkshire Association (ABA) is the United States' national breed association for Berkshire swine. Founded in 1875, the ABA is the nation's oldest swine registry and has maintained pedigree records of purebred Berkshires since its origination. The ABA has approximately 750 breeder-members located across North America, with the highest concentration in the Midwestern United States.

Berkshire Meat is Superior
The superior quality of Berkshire pork is well documented. In a summary of tests conducted over a 20-year span at the National Barrow Show in Austin, Minnesota, Berkshire pigs scored highest of all major American pure breeds in sensory quality. From various studies, including the Journal of Animal Science, Berkshire pork was ranked first in 19 of 22 quality measures in four important categories.

Goal of the 100% Program
The goal of the 100% Pure Berkshire Pork® Program is to assure consumers a quality dining experience. To accomplish this, the ABA has developed a certification program to ensure that all pork sold under the 100% Pure Berkshire Pork® label has been produced from pigs that are offspring of purebred, pedigreed Berkshire sires and dams.

Management of the Program
The ABA Board of Directors and the BMP Board of Directors oversees the 100% Program. ABA’s Board of Directors are elected by the general membership and sets policy for the ABA.

Berkshire Meat Products, LLC (BMP), is a wholly owned subsidiary of the ABA. As a limited liability company, the BMP's purpose is to provide marketing support for Berkshire pork producers and their customers. The BMP contracts with third parties for marketing and sales services.

About the Program 

As part of a continuing effort to improve meat quality, participants in the 100% Pure Berkshire Pork® Program are required to test all Berkshire boars used as sires to ensure they have only non-mutant HAL 1843* and non-mutant Rendement Napole genes.

To enhance the credibility of the 100% Pure Berkshire Pork® Program for both domestic and international markets, especially the highly important Japanese market, the ABA/BMP audits and verifies that pork is produced by a process that guarantees it is:

  • Berkshire pork from animals whose parents are purebred, pedigreed Berkshires as specified in the American Berkshire Association's breed criteria.
  • Traceable to source farms.

General Policies
Participating members, directors, officers and staff of the ABA and BMP adhere to the following policies of the 100% Pure Berkshire Pork® Program:

  • The objective of the American Berkshire Association is to ensure that all pork marketed in the 100% Pure Berkshire Pork® Program is harvested from pigs with purebred, pedigreed, registered Berkshire sires and dams.
  • All pork qualifying for the program is from Berkshire hogs traceable to source farms.

Producers

  • All Berkshire sires are DNA tested and found to be free of the mutant HAL 1843* and mutant Rendement Napole genes.
  • 100% of the producers, suppliers and packers receive regular evaluations that verify all products originate from offspring from breeding stock that meet the criteria established by the American Berkshire Association.
  • All participating producers receive regular training on the most current policies of the 100% Pure Berkshire Pork® Program.
  • Any animal that is disqualified from the 100% Pure Berkshire Pork® Program is identified and sold outside the 100% Pure Berkshire Pork® Program, with records retained that demonstrate final disposition.

Packers

  • Licensed packers agree to segregate qualifying hogs and the pork they produce from non-qualifying animals and pork.
  • Licensed packers agree to follow requirements for use of certification marks, labels and marketing materials associated with the 100% Pure Berkshire Pork® Program.
  • All participating licensed packers receive regular training on the most current policies of the 100% Pure Berkshire Pork® Program.
  • Licensed processors, distributors, foodservice suppliers and retail outlets agree to follow guidelines for use of labels and marketing materials associated with the 100% Pure Berkshire Pork® Program.

If you are interested in being in the 100% Pure Berkshire Pork® Program contact Amy Smith:

Email: berkshire@nationalswine.com or call the office at 765.497.3618