Perdue Farms has launched a new website, www.perduepoultrywelfare.com, to help consumers and other online audiences better understand one of the company's programs for raising chickens.
"We know that consumers have questions about where their food comes from," said Dr. Bruce Stewart-Brown, Senior Vice President of Food Safety, Quality and Live Production for Perdue Foods. "This new website is a way for consumers to better understand why we raise many of our chickens indoors, and our commitment to responsible animal husbandry across all of our raising programs."
The website uses photos and video shot on farms raising chickens for Perdue to show the inside of chicken houses, and to allow independent growers to share their experiences. An "info-graphic" explains how a modern chicken house provides a comfortable environment for chickens.
"This lets consumers see for themselves that our chickens are raised on farms by families who share our commitment to animal husbandry and a belief that animals raised for food must be treated with respect," said Stewart-Brown. Perdue is also sharing that content with consumers through social media, including the Perdue Chicken Facebook page. New content, including grower interviews, will be added to keep the site fresh and relevant.
As with the vast majority of poultry in America, chickens for the PERDUE®, PERDUE® SIMPLY SMART® and PERDUE® HARVESTLAND® brand (with the exception of those labeled organic) are raised cage-free in temperature-controlled housing with fresh air ventilation. This protects them from the elements, disease and predators while providing constant access to food and water, periods of light and dark and room to move about freely within the poultry house.
"Through the new online content, consumers can learn about the amount of care that goes into raising chickens for the PERDUE® and HARVESTLAND® brands, and the oversight and audits that help ensure the wellbeing of those animals," said Stewart-Brown. Chickens raised indoors for the PERDUE® and HARVESTLAND® brands are covered by Perdue's USDA Process Verified Program for Poultry Care, which includes USDA audits of hatcheries, farms and processing plants. The Process Verified Program provides added assurance of compliance to a poultry care program that exceeds industry standards, including monitoring air quality in barns and video monitoring of live-bird handling areas at the plants.
Perdue Farms also has free-range and pasture-raised programs for other brands, including its organic lines. "We have different programs to support customer and consumer choice, and in each we, and the farmers who raise the animals, have the same responsibility to help ensure that our products come from animals that have been raised with a healthy manner and treated with respect," said Stewart-Brown. "All of our raising programs provide a safe, healthy and low-stress environment."