Smithfield Foods, Inc. and its hog production subsidiary, Murphy-Brown LLC, announced today that it is recommending all of its contract sow growers join with the company in converting their facilities to group housing systems for pregnant sows. The company said that it is asking contract sow growers to convert by 2022 with a sliding scale of incentives to accelerate that timetable. Growers who commit to convert to group housing will receive contract extensions upon completion of the conversion.
At the same time, Smithfield Foods reported that Murphy-Brown had, through the end of 2013, transitioned 54% of pregnant sows on its company-owned farms in the United States to group housing systems.
In 2007, Smithfield made a business decision based on input from its customers to convert to group housing for pregnant sows on all company-owned U.S. farms. Smithfield remains on track to finish its conversion to group housing systems on all company-owned U.S. farms by 2017. Smithfield's international hog production operations 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) completed their conversions to group housing facilities a number of years ago.