What does that mean? It means we choose to work only with farming partners that are deeply committed to animal welfare. Not only do we go above and beyond the industry standards, we also seek out input and guidance from independent third parties. Like the work we do with the University of Pennsylvania. Or our collaboration with Dr. Temple Grandin, a world-renowned animal welfare expert and professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University, on the design of holding pens at our Hatfield and Coldwater facilities. Dr. Grandin’s input has been invaluable in helping with facility designs and animal welfare procedures.
It’s why most of our Country View Family Farms sow farms currently have group housed environments which moves sows out of individual gestation crates. This approach allows freedom of movement for the animals and the ability to express natural social behaviors. By 2022 all of our producers will have transitioned to group housing for their animals. It takes years to accomplish while each farm undergoes the required construction. We are the only major U.S. pork producer to make this commitment and we’re on track to achieve it.
Thanks to dedicated efforts from numerous team members at every stage of animal care, we’ve been honored to receive a number of awards for our high standards, including the prestigious Knowlton Award, which recognizes progressiveness in proper animal welfare.
But there’s always room for improvement and we are constantly looking for new ways to make the lives of our hogs even better. Our animal care efforts employ state-of-the-art innovations and technologies to increase hog health and food safety. We continually research the best animal raising systems, exploring those used in the U.S., Canada, and Europe with the goal of leading the industry in implementing the latest and best methods in animal care.
Whether it is implementing a recommendation from Dr. Grandin or researching best practices from other countries, when it comes to animal welfare CFG is at the leading edge of animal wellbeing in large scale pork production systems.
Many of the hogs raised for Clemens Food Group are cared for by Country View Family Farms, a group of over 250 farms, most of them independent family farms and all located in the U.S. Together, those farms create a powerful network that can meet the high demand for well-raised pork.