Broiler Chicken Business
Cargill has a growing broiler chicken business and is a leading producer of chicken products in Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Canada. We are aligning our care and handling of chickens raised for food with the expectations of our customers and consumers.
Our birds are handled with care using low-stress methods following best practices that keep the animals’ welfare at the forefront.
Where Cargill owns farms, our employees receive training to ensure birds receive the highest level of care. Our contract farmers share our values and pledge to maintain excellent animal handling and management that meet our requirements.
We have many Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization (PAACO) certified staff across North America and all employees at processing plants who handle birds regularly receive training on how to recognize, and mitigate, bird stress by employing the proper handling techniques. We abide by all local regulations and follow all regional guidelines established for the broiler chicken industry.
Cargill is committed to be a leader delivering safe, humanely treated chicken through research, innovation and employing best practices.
Humane handling on the farm
- All our birds are handled with care using low stress methods.
- All broilers processed at our Canadian facility abide by the Chicken Farmers of Canada’s (CFC) Animal Care guidelines as well as the National Chicken Council’s (NCC) animal care best practice guidelines. See also the National Farm Animal Care Council broiler chicken code of practice.
- Our U.K. poultry supply chain has achieved 100% accreditation under the Red Tractor, or equivalent, food assurance schemes for high standards of animal welfare, food safety and hygiene. Our overall European business has best-practice handling aligned with its strict local animal welfare legislation.
- In China, all broilers are in accordance with the Chinese Broiler Welfare Industry Standard.
- Similarly our Philippines operations are aligned with legislation that covers best practices both on farm and at the processing plant.
- Our Thai business is also aligned with national best-practice guidelines for bird handling at the farm and strict animal welfare legislation that applies to transportation and processing plant.
- The rest of our broiler businesses adhere to the best practices that generally mirror those of the NCC as well as incorporating local best practices.
Where we own our grow-out operations, our employees are trained to handle birds with care. Our contract farmers share our values and pledge to maintain excellent animal handling and management as Cargill suppliers.
Humane handling at processing
We have many PAACO-certified staff across North America and Latin America working with our employees at processing plants to provide training on how to recognize and mitigate bird stress and employ proper low stress animal handling. Most recently, some parts of our Latin America business received training and Poultry Welfare Officer (PWO) certification. The University of Bristol PWO certification is widely recognized by retailers, industry and policy makers throughout the UK and EU, as providing high caliber animal welfare training. This training and PWO designation also meet the requirements of EU regulations and therefore applies to our European business. Our Asian processing plants also provide training on how to recognize and mitigate bird stress and employ proper low-stress animal handling, reflect best practices expectations for our North American counterparts, as well as from third party external audits.
For example, transport times may be shifted to night or early morning, and loading density may be reduced during hot spells.
Industry standards and guidelines
All our birds are handled with care using low-stress methods. Broilers processed at our Canadian facility abide by the Chicken Farmers of Canada’s Animal Care guidelines as well as the National Chicken Council’s animal care best practice guidelines.
We also abide by the NFACC’s new broiler chicken code of practice. Our European business has best-practice handling aligned with its strict local animal welfare legislation. In China, we follow the Chinese Broiler Welfare Industry Standard.
The remainder of our broiler businesses adhere to the best practices that generally mirror those of the NCC as well as incorporating local best practices.
We, and our suppliers, raise broiler chickens in many parts of the world. Some countries, such as Canada and those which comprise the United Kingdom (UK), have specific farm animal welfare regulations. We handle and care for our birds, at level that often exceed regulatory requirements where regulations do exist and, in regions where they do not, our birds are cared for with the same level of responsibility and industry best practices.
We actively pursue innovation to optimize the comfort of animals in our care. Some examples:
- Since 2019, Cargill are recording 24/7 audio of poultry flocks at two our locations in China and video at four poultry houses in Canada. Audio and video streams are analyzed using Artificial Intelligence technology to measure the level of comfort or stress that the animals experience and to assess their walking ability. Results obtained suggest that this system permits early detection of emerging health and welfare challenges about 10 days before an increase in mortality is observed. This provides farm staff valuable time to treat an issue early with less medication and adverse impact on performance. Currently, system prototypes are being developed and testing is being rolled out to additional farms in Thailand, Poland, China and Canada.
- Cargill is testing new feed formulation technology that improves digestibility and reduces the excretion of unused proteins that can break down to ammonia and adversely impact the health and condition of birds’ feet.