Smithfield Foods Inc. has released new, more comprehensive information about its industry-leading animal care initiatives in the first installment of its 2015 Sustainability and Financial Report. Starting with its Animal Care section, Smithfield will issue its 15th annual report in segments over an eight-week period.
“Animal care has been a focus for us for many years. However, we have recently refined and increased our reporting in this area, particularly when it comes to the topic of antibiotics,” said Stewart Leeth, vice president of regulatory affairs and chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods. “To embark on a well-informed conversation guided by accurate and useful information, we need others in the industry to join Smithfield in defining and reporting antibiotics usage.”
New to this year’s report, Smithfield provides a clear, practical explanation and specific examples of “prevention” as related to antibiotics use in farm animals. At Smithfield, preventative antibiotics are used solely to reduce disease carriers in its herd and to prevent animals from contracting a disease, which would then require additional treatment and potentially more antibiotics.
Advancing the company’s well-recognized position as a leader in animal care, the report also features new details about the company’s animal care audit platform designed to provide customers and consumers with greater assurance that Smithfield is doing its part to raise animals in a responsible way. Additional highlights include a case study illustrating how Smithfield created a new market for sustainable feed, new details about the company’s breeding program, updates about the company’s conversion to sow group housing and other company initiatives that improve animal well-being.
“At Smithfield, we have taken bold steps to ensure animals are safe, comfortable and healthy,” said Ken Sullivan, president and chief executive officer of Smithfield Foods. “These steps — whether in regards to antibiotics or group housing for pregnant sows — have created value for our business and the industry, making Smithfield the leader in animal care.”
Smithfield continues to be an innovator in animal care, building on leadership positions such as:
- First and only company in the industry to report antibiotics usage since 2007.
- First to commit to providing group housing for pregnant sows on company-owned and contract farms.
- First pork producer to develop and implement comprehensive, systematic animal welfare management program to monitor and measure animal well-being.
- Ended use of medically important antibiotics for growth promotion on company-owned and contract farms.
- Removed ractopamine from feed for all company-owned animals supplied to processing facilities.
For the first time, Smithfield will issue its annual sustainability report in segments organized by pillar of the company’s robust program. The goal is to better engage a broad range of stakeholders by delivering information in a more accessible way. Following the Animal Care section, Smithfield will publish its Environment, Food Safety and Quality, Helping Communities and People segments in succession. The full report will be available in mid-August.
The Animal Care section of Smithfield’s 2015 Sustainability and Financial Report is now available online.