Smithfield Foods has said that it will process only US born and raised hogs, starting from next April.

The announcement follows the introduction of new labelling regulations - the Mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (mCOOL) program - that takes effect at the end of the month. As of 30 September various meat, fruit and vegetable products will be required to have labels showing their country of origin.

In a statement released yesterday (24 September) Smithfield said that it intends to procure only hogs born and raised in the US at its US facilities. The company said labelling will be used to communicate this to consumers.

"Smithfield expects that any independent producer who wishes to be a valued supplier of live animals to Smithfield will work with the company between now and the end of March to create a fully documented and transparent supply of hogs born and raised in the USA," the company said.