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Perdue Farms releases 2020 stewardship report

Company reports progress made in animal care, environment, community involvement and business.

Perdue Farms this week released its "Fiscal Year 2020 Company Stewardship Report" focusing on four areas: food, the environment, animal care and people and partners. The report highlights how the company is elevating its commitment this year to alleviating food insecurity, offering consumers greater access to its products through e-commerce, advancing its industry-leading animal care commitments and providing chickens with greater outdoor access.

Released during Perdue’s centennial year, the report notes progress made in the key areas of environment, communities and people and also reinforces the company’s stewardship platform. The report also highlights how these sustainability efforts align with the 17 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.

“Over the past year, we have continued to make advances in animal care, product innovation and environmental stewardship. Much of that progress would not have been possible without the support and involvement of others. Indeed, a theme of teamwork and partnership is woven throughout our report,” company chairman Jim Perdue said.

Perdue Farms chief executive officer Randy Day added that, ranging from newly acquired "Panorama Meats’ support of rangeland conservationists to bioenergy partnerships, joint research with an animal welfare advocacy group and volunteer and financial contributions to the many nonprofits serving our communities, this has been a year that illustrates that we are truly all in this together.”

He continued, “As this report was being compiled, our company, the country and the world was faced with the unprecedented challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through partnering with the government, communities, our associates, farmers and customers, we faced these challenges and developed solutions together. As we navigate into our second century, this unprecedented challenge only serves to reinforce our commitment to our vision ‘to be the most trusted name in food and agriculture products.’”

The following are highlights of the report.

  • People and partners. Perdue Farms continued to make progress in being a responsible employer, investing in associates’ growth, safety and well-being by:
    • Enrolling 88 associates in the online Penn Foster Online High School Diploma program that allows them to earn an accredited high school diploma at no cost, and five students graduated.
    • Receiving 19 industry safety awards, including the “Award of Distinction” for 10 of the company's operations, the highest honor from the Joint Industry Safety & Health Council.
    • Hosting the first company-wide Day of Understanding in conjunction with CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion to encourage tough conversations and bridge cultural divides.
  • Food. The company continued a legacy of product innovation with a new way for consumers to buy its products and the introduction of new products from its portfolio of brands, such as:
    • Perdue Farms entered the e-commerce space to offer a selection of its most popular premium protein brands for sale directly to consumers at www.perduefarms.com.
    • The Perdue brand introduced first-of-its-kind PERDUE CHICKEN PLUS, a veggie-and-chicken blended product line of nuggets, tenders and patties, and expanded its free-range product offerings under the PERDUE HARVESTLAND label to secure its position as the leader in raising animals with outdoor access.
  • Environment. Perdue Farms made progress toward achieving its 2022 environmental sustainability goals and being a good steward of the environment while taking a few steps back in reaching goals for reducing greenhouse gases and water use. This involved:
    • Reducing solid waste 3.4% in part by becoming the first poultry company in the U.S. to achieve GreenCircle Zero Waste to Landfill certification by diverting 8.4 million lb. of waste.
    • Entering a 20-year partnership to create renewable natural gas and natural soil health solutions from poultry organics to benefit the health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
    • Setting the ambitious goal for Niman Ranch of building the largest network of independent farmers supporting pollinators over the next decade and committing $200,000 for farmers to build pollinator habitat on their land.
  • Animal care. Perdue Farms continued its industry-leading animal care initiatives and commitment to transparency and hosted its fourth Animal Care Summit. The company:
    • Outpaced the industry in raising chickens with outdoor access and achieved goal of providing outdoor access at 25% of chicken houses by January 2020.
    • Converted 700 chicken houses from conventional growing operations to meet free-range standards, including adding windows, environmental enrichment and safe outdoor access.
    • Announced new initiatives to further enhance chicken health and comfort at all stages, including a first-ever research partnership with Mercy for Animals.
  • Communities. Perdue Farms and the Franklin P. & Arthur W. Perdue Foundation made a meaningful impact in the communities where the company operates through financial support, community giving, hunger relief and disaster recovery support, associate volunteerism and working with stakeholders to make meaningful change.
    • Perdue elevated its commitment to alleviate food insecurity and established a five-year sustainability goal to donate a minimum of 20 million lb. of protein by 2025. Since 2000, Perdue has donated more than 80 million lb. of protein, or the equivalent of 304 million servings, to regional book banks serving its communities and beyond.
    • The Perdue Foundation delivered more than $1.3 million in grants and support to 93 nonprofit organizations, including a $1 million grant to 10 Feeding America-affiliated food bank partners to launch the food insecurity initiative “Delivering Hope To Our Neighbors” in celebration of the company’s centennial anniversary.
  • Farmers. Perdue Farms invested $155,000 to support programs that provide opportunities for the next generation of farmers and agricultural leaders, including:
    • The Perdue Foundation supported the National Future Farmers of America organization with a $15,000 grant that enabled the organization to provide its iconic blue jackets to 177 students across 35 states.
    • The Niman Ranch Next Generation Foundation awarded 29 scholarships totaling more than $140,000 to students from Niman Ranch’s network of farm and ranch families.

The report is available at www.responsiblefoodandagriculture.com.

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