News last update:Feb 25, 2016

Smithfield: 71.4% of pregnant sows move to group housing

Smithfield Foods has reported that its hog production subsidiary, Murphy-Brown, has made significant strides in 2014 in transitioning pregnant sows on its company-owned farms in the United States to group housing systems, reaching the 71.4% mark by the end of 2014.

This is a 20% jump on the sows that were transitioned in 2013. Thus with the onset of 2015 seven out of every 10 Murphy-Brown pregnant sows on company-owned farms in the US are in group housing systems.

A year ago Smithfield Foods announced it was recommending that all of Murphy-Brown's contract sow growers join with the company in converting their facilities to group housing systems for their pregnant sows by 2022, with a sliding scale of incentives to accelerate that timetable. "We have been encouraged with the initial response to our request to join with us in this commitment," said Dennis H. Treacy, executive vice president and chief sustainability officer of Smithfield Foods.

Smithfield's international hog production operations also will complete their conversions from gestation stalls to group housing systems on company-owned farms by 2022. Smithfield's hog production operations in Poland (AgriPlus) and Romania (Smithfield Ferme) began utilizing group housing facilities on company-owned farms a number of years ago. The company's Granjas Carroll de México (GCM) and Norson joint ventures in Mexico are committed to phasing out gestation stalls on company-owned farms by 2022.

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