The U.S. meat sector released this week its first-ever progress report that sets baselines for measuring progress toward ambitious targets in environmental sustainability, animal care, food safety, worker safety, and food security. With 100% of the Meat Institute’s large U.S. members (more than 2,000 employees) submitting data, the report covers an estimated 90% of meat sold in the United States.
Just in time for the United Nations Climate Summit next week in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, the report reveals that about 81% of facilities reporting data are covered by Meat Institute members’ commitments to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
“98% of American households purchase meat, putting our sector undoubtedly at the center of solutions for healthy diets, healthy communities, and a healthy planet for generations to come,” said Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts. “The Meat Institute’s first-ever continuous improvement report is a game changer for transparency in the sector - setting transparent baselines that will allow us to measure progress and verify our sector’s contributions to global goals.”
Announced in 2021, the Meat Institute’s Protein PACT established a set of goals to meet by 2025 and 2030 to verify progress along the way. By 2025, 100% of NAMI members who handle animals plan to pass third-party animal transport and handling audits while all members will require all suppliers to implement mandatory employee training and follow species-specific standards for animal care. Members will also work with the USDA and non-profit Feeding America to measure and help fill the protein gap to ensure families in need have enough high-quality protein.
By 2030, 100% of NAMI members plan to have delivered an approved Science-Based Target to reduce emissions in line with the Paris Climate Agreement goals. They will also further reduce workplace injuries by 50% (2019 baseline), on top of the 75% reduction achieved from 1999 to 2019. Lastly, NAMI said the goal is for all of its members to be reporting on every metric area in 2030.
Key findings in the latest report that document progress toward the goals include:
- Supporting NAMI’s commitment to measure and fill the “protein gap” for needy families by 2025, 78% of reporting companies donate money or products to food banks and charities, including more than $9 million announced this year to combat hunger by building or expanding food banks’ capacity to safely receive, store, package, and distribute fresh meat hungry families need.
- 82% of reporting facilities are covered by a company commitment to minimize packaging waste, and 71% are covered by a company commitment to reduce food waste.
- 96% of reporting facilities that conduct meat processing require suppliers to maintain a written animal welfare program based on NAMI Animal Handling Guidelines.
- 98% of reporting facilities have a multidisciplinary team that periodically reviews food safety programs and takes improvement actions.
The full report can be accessed here.