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Smithfield Promoting Group Housing for Sows



(NAFB)--Smithfield Foods and its hog production subsidiary Murphy-Brown LLC are recommending sow growers join with the company in converting their facilities to group housing systems for pregnant sows. According to a company news release - they are asking sow growers to convert by 2022 - with a sliding scale of incentives to accelerate that timetable. Those who commit to convert will receive contract extensions upon completion of the conversion. Smithfield Executive Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer Dennis Treacy says more and more food companies are looking to suppliers to move toward group housing systems for pregnant sows. To date - he says more than 50 companies - many of them Smithfield customers - have announced they will source pork from suppliers utilizing group housing in the future. While the conversion to group housing systems is being encouraged - Treacy says it is not mandatory. If growers choose not to participate - he says their contracts with Murphy-Brown will not change - though extensions are less likely. Recognizing the investment that would go with a decision to convert - Smithfield Foods President and CEO C. Larry Pope says a well-planned renovation to a group housing system will help maintain a farms value for years to come - while at the same time supporting the company-wide commitment to animal care.

Smithfield’s action is being praised by the Humane Society of the United States. HSUS President Wayne Pacelle claims the decision shows that eliminating the lifelong confinement of sows is economically viable. He says other pork producers that aren’t taking the same steps are increasingly out of step with the American public, their industry and their customers. Smithfield began converting to group housing for pregnant sows on all company-owned U.S. farms in 2007. The company reports it is on track to finish its conversion on all company-owned U.S. farms by 2017 and all facilities worldwide by 2022. Hog production operations in Poland and Romania completed their conversions to group housing facilities a number of years ago

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Topics : Business_Finance
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People : C. LarryDennis TreacyWayne Pacelle
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