Canadian Poultry Magazine

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Maple Leaf Foods recognized for farm animal welfare practices

Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare ranks company among global leaders.


March 18, 2022
By Canadian Poultry magazine

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Maple Leaf Foods Inc. was ranked among a list of committed and impactful global leaders in animal welfare by the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW), the leading global measure of policy commitment, performance, and disclosure on animal welfare in food companies.

Following its review of 150 companies in 25 countries, BBFAW ranked Maple Leaf Foods in Tier 2, a position occupied by just 12 companies. Only four companies are ranked in Tier 1.

The high ranking recognizes Maple Leaf Foods’ industry-leading animal care programs and performance and makes the company one of only two North American protein companies in the top two tiers and the only Canadian-owned company to achieve this distinction.

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“Maple Leaf Foods is values-driven and deeply committed to providing the highest level of welfare to animals in our care. Our customers expect it and our animals deserve it,” says vice president of animal care, Dr. Kathleen Long.

“We’re proud of our recent, full conversion of all our sow barns to our Advanced Open Sow Housing system that enables our sows to choose when they eat, socialize, play and rest. We appreciate our collaboration with the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare as we strive for ongoing, continuous improvement in our animal care programs.”

Some of the company’s animal care initiatives include:

  • Deployment of trucks with hydraulic lifts to reduce pig stress when boarding and exiting trucks.
  • Purchase of temperature-controlled poultry trailers to protect chickens during extreme cold weather conditions common in regions where Maple Leaf Foods operates.
  • The use of enrichments in nursery, finisher, and sow barns to encourage pigs to play and chew as they naturally would.
  • Researching and piloting of a variety of enrichments in poultry barns that encourage chickens’ natural behaviours to hide, perch and peck. These enrichments also promote leg health in chickens by encouraging chickens to stay active.