Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Smithfield nearing sow-housing goal

Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest hog-raising company, is nearing its goal of ending crate housing for gestating sows.

When it announced that goal in 2010, all but 6.6 per cent of its sows were housed in crates. Now it’s 13 per cent or, put the other way, 87 per cent are now in loose housing.

The goal is to have them all in loose housing before the end of this year.

The company says the conversions have cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

It has set a deadline of 2022 for all of its contract growers to have their sows in loose housing.

Smithfield Foods is based in Virginia, but is owned by WH Group Limited of China. It is not only the largest hog producer, but also the largest pork processing company.