The company migrated 15.5% of its crate system to collective gestation
BRF, one of the world's largest food companies, has modified 15.5% of its gestation crates for pigs in its production chain. This move reflects the progress in the partnership between the Company and World Animal Protection, which jointly launched a pioneering initiative among Brazilian companies in the industry to improve animal welfare measures.
"It is part of BRF culture to take measures that improve animal welfare. Since 2012, the collective gestation system has been mandatory in all production expansion projects across the Company. In the case of existing systems, the switch to collective gestation has been gradual. This partnership is the first of its kind in the food sector and underlines the commitment of BRF and the entire supply chain to this issue," said Fabrício Delgado, agribusiness officer at BRF.
In November 2014, BRF undertook to adopt the collective gestation system in its pig breeding stock, implementing it progressively until reaching 100% of production in 2026. Since there are no Brazilian rules on this matter, the Company followed the laws of the European Union. As such, sows will remain in individual accommodation for the minimum required period and will later be released into collective crates, following animal welfare precepts.
Over the course of the year, the partnership between BRF and World Animal Protection was fundamental for the implementation of projects focusing on animal welfare in all stages of production - from breeding to humane slaughter, as well as in raising awareness among company employees through specific training initiatives. Timetables were set for drafting and implementing procedures that will make the activities of BRF’s supply and production chain in Brazil more effective.
"We are taking measures to monitor and evaluate animal welfare indicators, which are being collaboratively developed and are based on the theoretical and practical experience of both organizations," explained Mr. Delgado.
The measures taken are fundamental for ensuring the welfare of millions of poultry and pigs across the chain and in the diverse stages of production at BRF. "This first year of working together helped both organizations to identify opportunities for improvement and to define the work priorities for the coming years. We believe that constantly monitoring the welfare of animals throughout production will be the key to successful implementation and to improving animal production practices," said José Rodolfo Ciocca, manager of sustainable agribusiness campaigns at World Animal Protection in Brazil.
"Our joint effort with BRF is critical to ensuring the welfare of millions of farming animals since, in addition to the work with pigs we also identified the opportunity to work with poultry this year," explained Mr. Ciocca. "Our partnership is a unique opportunity to lead the changes and good practices in Brazil’s animal production industry."