Make Room For A New Kind Of Pork Production

US - Change is occurring in the pork industry.
calendar icon 30 March 2007
clock icon 3 minute read
Dennis Treacy, Smithfield Foods vice president of environmental and corporate affairs said the decision to move away from gestating sow stalls was customer driven.

Customers are asking pork producers to consider sow housing options other than keeping gestating sows in stalls.

“The decision to move away from stalls certainly falls into a broader picture, but the exact reason for the decision was market driven - it was customer driven,” said Dennis Treacy, vice president of environmental and corporate affairs for Smithfield Foods. “The reason the decision was made was very simple - the customer is always right. The customer has asked us repeatedly ‘Is there another way to raise animals successfully?' Our answer is ‘yes.'”

Smithfield Foods announced on Jan. 25, 2007, that it would begin the process of phasing out of individual gestation stalls at all of its company-owned sow farms and replace them with pens or group housing over the next 10 years.

With its Murphy-Brown hog-raising entity, Smithfield Foods is the largest hog producer and pork processor in the world. Annual sales are $11 billion, making Smithfield the leading processor and marketer of fresh pork and processed meats in the United States.

Their customers ask about animal welfare every single day, Treacy said.

The company already has implemented an Animal Welfare Management System that drew on experts from many disciplines to make sure animal well being issues were being evaluated and carried out.

The Animal Welfare Management System is now serving as a model for other companies in the livestock industry.

Source: Farm&Ranch Guide

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