BRF and World Animal Protection announce global partnership
Yesterday BRF, Brazil's largest pig producer, signed a groundbreaking partnership with World Animal Protection to outline important improvements to animal welfare methods in the company’s production and supply chain.
Among the initiatives considered in the Letter of Intention, BRF commits to adopt improved welfare group housing of sows and a move away from crate-based housing.
Owner of brands like Sadia, Perdigão, Perdix and Speedy Pollo, BRF is one of the largest exporters of pig and poultry in the world and the seventh largest agro-food company by market value. BRF has over 100,000 employees, 47 industrial plants in Brazil, 10 plants abroad (eight in Argentina, two in Europe and one in Abu Dhabi) and 27 distribution centers. Currently, the company exports for over 110 countries.
As Brazil has no specific regulations in this specific area, BRF will adopt European Union legislation standards. Gestating sows will remain in crates for the minimum period required to then be freed back into group housing, following the best practices in animal welfare. Appropriate funding for the company’s pig producers to make the transition will be vital, and the new methods of production will be gradually phased in over a 12-year period. World Animal Protection will provide technical support and monitor the progress.
This initiative is pioneering for the agro-food industry, considering BRF operates directly in the production chain and keeps exclusive long-term agreements with its suppliers.This partnership will build on other improvements that BRF has undertaken to integrate better animal welfare into its supply chain. For more than two years, group housing of sows has been made mandatory for all new suppliers to the company. In such group housing facilities, sows are able to express natural and social behaviors, due to larger spaces, which is not possible when sows are kept in crates. These facilities have high-end equipment and allow better animal welfare practices.
BRF’s agreement with World Animal Protection will allow these initiatives to be extended along the company's full production and supply chain. Through the partnership, the two organizations will build a joint, comprehensive work plan based on the exchange of knowledge and experience in developing best practices in animal welfare.
"Our mission is to move the world to protect animals. Our decision to collaborate with BRF comes from the company's commitment to improving its welfare standards, in line with the demand of consumers, who are increasingly concerned about the ethical dimension of products.
“BRF is one of the largest global agro-food companies, responsible for the production of billions of farm animals. We hope this partnership will allow us to bring about massive improvement in the lives of farm animals around the whole industry," said Alfredo Botti, World Animal Protection’s Regional Director for Latin America.