Ideal environment for swine breeding.
Sonora, a state located in the northwestern part of Mexico, is known for its vast arid zones and dry weather. However, it’s not a common desert.
Thanks to Sierra Madre Occidental’s underground water reserve from snow, swine farms have ideal resources to ensure the production of grain used in feeding. The dry climate hinders the spread of infections, preventing epidemics. Its surroundings, mountains and the ocean, prevent the entry of pathogens from other regions. On the other hand, meat and processed swine products from other countries and states are strictly monitored to prevent the introduction of disease into the area.
The state of Yucatan, in Southern Mexico, surrounded almost entirely by bodies of water, has the perfect conditions to prevent the spread of diseases and infections in animals. The states of Sinaloa and Jalisco have also been confirmed free of this afflictions, such as FMD and swine cholera. The transport of live animals is limited to prevent the arrival of pathogens and is only approved in the states of Sonora and Yucatan.
The largest swine production facilities in these 4 states (Jalisco, Sinaloa, Sonora and Yucatan) are far from urban areas. Entry and exit of people and vehicles is strictly monitored, in addition to the existence of control points that provide a suitable environment for the production of swine products.
Mexican Pork, a triple crossbred.
The breeding of hogs produced in these states is the product of a triple crossbreed of superior strains, brought from Europe and the United States of America. This hybrid swine is the most advanced crossing, produced after years of crossbreeding with imported stallions to produce
high quality meat with an efficient feed.
The three-stage site system.
Mexican packaging companies operate under a large-scale production system of integrated management (vertical integration). The entire production process; from rearing, cultivation, fattening and meat processing; to product supply, controlled by constant monitoring systems.
Genetic material is controlled in-house, also the supply of semen for breeding, piglet production, rearing, fattening and supply is managed under a unified system. The three-stage site system has been adopted in almost all facilities. This is where hog quarters are separated, according to the three phases of production: rearing, growth and fattening. The separation of the hog’s housing prevents the spread of diseases and the entry of infectious pathogens. With a three-stage siege system, its common that the meal composition is also controlled according to each stage.
Each farm’s integrated system is carefully supervised; the production of fodder is also unified, these feed mixtures are made internally. Its content is standardized according to the stages of life, for piglets, growth and fattening, contributing to consistent and stable production of weight, offering a high quality.
Mexican Pork products exported to Asia are only produced by TIF certified plants (*1), which are inspected by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER). These measures certify that the place has adequate facilities and equipment for hog production, in addition to complying with hygiene and personnel’s criteria. These plants adopted the HACCP system (*2). More and more production plants obtain different certifications, such is the case of Mexico Calidad Suprema (*3), endorsed by the Federal Government; Certificación de Cerdo Seguro (*4), endorsed by the state of Sonora and the Safe Quality Food Institute certification, who are responsible for standardizing safety and quality processes internationally.
The Mexican federal government guarantees the approval of the TIF certificate only to those plants that fully comply with hygiene standards and quality supervision, as well as equipment requirements. They have certified around 400 hog plants, with strict standards, at the level of those established in the United States.
All MPEA meat packers supplying Mexican Pork products to Asia have obtained TIF plant certifications. A federal government inspector is in full-time service at each TIF plant and performs rigorous health and safety checks. These plants are equipped with a quality control system and are operated under systems where facilities, equipment and management also meet strict international standards.
Products exported to Asia are produced only in government-certified plants.
Mexican Pork products exported to Asia are produced only at TIF(*1) plants, which are plants certified by the Ministry of Agriculture, Ranching, Rural Development, Fisheries, and Food Supply (SAGARPA) and fulfill facility and equipment standards, as well as hygiene control and inspection standards. All these plants adopt the HACCP system (*2).
In addition, more plants have recently been adopting certification programs such as MEXICO SUPREME QUALITY (*3) (MEXICO CALIDAD SUPREMA, approved by the federal government), SSPF(*4) (Sonora Safe Pork Farms of Sonora State), and SQF (*5), an international safety and quality management system.
The federal government of Mexico grants TIF approval only to those plants that fulfill facility and equipment standards and hygiene and inspection control standards. The government has certified around 400 plants producing pork, with standards of strictness equivalent to those of the United States.
All MPEA packers that supply Mexican pork products to Asia have been granted TIF plant certifications. A federal government inspector (a veterinarian) is on duty full-time at each TIF plant and runs rigorous checks on safety and hygiene. The TIF plants are operated under control systems where facilities, equipment, and management also fulfill strict international standards.
HACCP is a certification program for safety, hygiene and quality control of meat products, and is becoming a worldwide standard.
In this system, various control points are assigned at each stage of the operation, from the reception of hogs, to processing, storage and dispatch of its products, in order to prevent hazards and the growth of microorganisms. At the same time, control posts are designed to reduce risks by improving registration and storage.
Mexico Calidad Suprema is a federal certification, endorsed by SADER, the Ministry of Economy and BANCOMEXT, ensuring that, from production to consumption, the exported product meets the necessary quality and safety goals. Certifying that the product meets the standards of the Mexican Federal Government: Hygiene, which guarantees confidence in safe products manufactured in a safe and controlled system, from the production process as a whole to distribution, Processing and Packaging; Innocuousness, that the product is not harmful to people’s health; and Quality, which guarantees the excellence of the product, including color, flavor and appearance.
HACCP is a requirement for SQF certification. This certification not only complies with the general safety and protection requirements, but also with the social requirements of environmental conservation, such as improving quality and reducing environmental burdens. Therefore, some packagers who are members of the MPEA have adopted this certification.
Total integration and traceability
In their efforts to produce safe products at all stages of the production cycle, many swine producers and MPEA packers that produce Mexican Pork are adopting the vertical integration system, which controls the entire cycle from rearing, fattening, slaughtering, treatment and processing to export.
In addition, rigorous traceability work is being carried out to trace the history of each product. The traceability system, established by the farms, can provide data, including production and processing dates and information on the animal’s feed.