The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) board of directors has decided to cancel the 2020 World Pork Expo in June due to COVID-19 human health concerns.
In 2019, the World Pork Expo was canceled "out of an abundance of caution" due to African swine fever's spread throughout China and other parts of Asia.
"While deeply disappointed to cancel this year's Expo, NPPC's board of directors unanimously agreed it was prudent to make this decision now," NPPC President Howard "A.V." Roth, a pork producer from Wauzeka, Wisc, said in a release. "By eliminating COVID 19-related uncertainty surrounding the event, we allow producers and others across the industry to focus on the essential role we play in the nation's food supply system at this critical time."
World Pork Expo is the world's largest pork-specific trade show, where more than 20,000 industry professionals gather for three days to showcase innovations, introduce new products and participate in training and educational programs, the release said.
Mike Paustian, president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association, agreed that the news was disappointing, but he said he believes it's a wise decision based on the current COVID-19 situation.
"NPPC certainly wouldn't want to jeopardize the health of anyone due to the event," Paustian said. "We are all having to find new ways to stay connected and share information. Producers may also need to figure out alternative ways to support the efforts of NPPC."
World Pork Expo 2021 is scheduled for June 9-11 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.
"We will do our part to support the nation's transition back to normalcy and look forward to making next year's World Pork Expo better than ever," Roth said.
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