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Agricultural News

Dennis Treacy of Smithfield on Sustainability, Gestation Crates and More

Wed, 29 Feb 2012 09:20:19 CST

Dennis Treacy of Smithfield on Sustainability, Gestation Crates and More Can sustainability really be defined? Dennis Treacy of Smithfield Foods says maybe- maybe not. The Executive Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer for Smithfield says he has forbidden his staff at Smithfield to try to define sustainability- and that while that sounds strange- he believes is a "confusing term" and that he and Smithfield have "decided to do something about it and basically for Smithfield, it's simply to do the right thing."

Treacy says that for Smithfield, doing something means working to improve worker safety, food safety, community involvement, environmental protection and animal care.

Treacy was one of two presenters on Wednesday morning at the Bayer Crop Science Ag Issues Forum in Nashville on the subject of sustainability.

One question that Dennis Treacy says you can ask about your practices in business is to look at how you do things and consider, "what would your pastor say?" or "what would your neighbor say?" about one practice or another.

Beyond sustainability, Ron Hays talked one on one with Dennis Treacy about the gestation crate issue, and he points to the progress that Smithfield has already made in response to critics of the confinement crates. He contends that they now have 30% of their sows in open pens, despite the belief that the confinement stalls are safer and more humane for the animal being housed. The decision to move to ending the use of gestation crates came down to customer interaction.

You can hear the entire conversation Hays had with Dennis Treacy at the Bayer Crop Science Ag Issues Forum by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below. To read more about the five areas that Treacy says that Smithfield is working in to be more sustainable, click here.


Ron Hays talks with Chief Sustainability Officer for Smithfield- Dennis Treacy.
right-click to download mp3


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