Do you have humane procurement procedures in place for your meat and poultry purchases?

June 24th, 2009

At the turn of the 20th century

At the turn of the 20th century, chickens were primarily consumed for holiday meals. Today they are a staple food product around the world with a variety of procurement oriented names such as fryers, layers, broilers, WOGS etc.

Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned with the treatment of all farm animals during their life cycle from birth to the dinner table.

In the case of chickens, there has even been legislature passed recently by the State of California for the humane treatment of laying hens. One might say who cares. For one, this author does and so should all of you that are reading this and procuring poultry products.

Chickens have actually been kept as pets for years, and many say they have a relatively high degree of intelligence. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the oldest living chicken lived to be sixteen years old. I’m not sure how long laying hens continue to produce eggs, but I am aware that the average cage size for a laying hen is only 81/2” by 11”. Yes, I said inches. That’s the size of a standard piece of copy paper. Can you even imagine having a level of intelligence and being confined to a space where you can not even extend your wings, stand up or turn around? If one was to compare the same amount of space for the average 5’10” adult male, the resulting space it would be 3 feet 4 inches by 4 feet 4 inches. That is smaller than the cells in which we confine inmates in our over crowded prison system.

The question one might ask is how might procurement professionals help during the procurement process? It is really quite simple. Ask the right questions or have your procurement solution provider ask them for you. Here are four examples of the type questions we ask suppliers at SafeSourcing.

1. What certifications do you support relative to the humane treatment of farm animals? An example might be “Humane Raised Hand Led”
2. From where do you source your poultry? What specific farms?
3. Are chickens confined to wire cages? If so, what’s the cage capacity?
4. Are the chickens you buy cage free during any of their life cycle.

This type of procurement practice is a great thing to brag about in advertising campaigns as consumers become more and more aware of how our farm animals are treated and react to that treatment by shopping with humanely oriented companies.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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