Sharing Knowledge With Those Who Consume Protein
Companies have an important role to play in educating an array of stakeholders about farm animal welfare, including customers, consumers, suppliers, government, news media, NGOs, etc. In turn, such educational efforts are likely to translate into increased demand for protein products coming from sources which place an emphasis on higher animal welfare standards.
Cargill is primarily a customer-facing company rather than a consumer-facing company, and most of our awareness-raising activities take place with our retail, foodservice and food manufacturing customers. Our animal welfare team helps various customers by serving on their animal welfare advisory boards, and by providing information, guidance and counsel on animal welfare matters.
Also, members of our corporate animal welfare team are regularly invited to present to various organizations. Cargill supports educational opportunities whenever possible. Dr. Mike Siemens was an invited speaker at the 2016 International Beef Cattle Welfare Symposium at Kansas State University. In addition Dr. Siemens has been invited to speak at the 2016 American Association of Bovine Practitioners annual convention.
Within our product lines, we partner with Meyers Natural Beef, which has a “natural” beef line that communicates to consumers its higher animal welfare standards.
The Meyers Humanely Handled Program focuses on all aspects of the production and development process from traceability, cattle housing and transportation to environmental protection, disbudding and castration. Meyer’s Humanely Handled Program places the utmost emphasis on transparency and integrity, requiring third party validation. The Program is also a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)-approved third party certified process, and all information is publicly listed at www.meyernaturalfoods.com.
Our Honeysuckle White and Shady Brook Farms turkey bears a label that assures consumers a high quality product. The label claim includes a link to a website which displays a statement that all of our turkeys are responsibly raised by independent farmers who are trained on animal handling practices.