In 2007 we made an industry-leading commitment to convert our company-owned farms in the U.S. to group housing systems for pregnant sows by 2017. We are excited to announce that at the end of 2013, Murphy-Brown LLC, our hog production subsidiary, will be more than halfway finished with a reported 54% complete.
To further demonstrate our commitment to animal care, we, along with Murphy-Brown, are encouraging all contract sow growers to convert their facilities to group housing systems. We believe converting to group housing will benefit growers by adding value to their farm and better serve the needs of our customers, many of whom plan in the future to source pork from suppliers who utilize group housing.
Although the conversion of contract sow growers’ facilities to group housing systems is being encouraged, it is not mandatory. If growers choose not to participate, their current contracts with Murphy-Brown will remain unchanged, although extensions are less likely.
Additionally, two of our international hog production subsidiaries, AgriPlus and Smithfield Ferme, completed their conversions to group housing facilities a number of years ago. Our international hog production operations will complete their conversions to group housing systems on company-owned farms by 2022.
Animal care is one of our core sustainability commitments, and we are proud of our employee and company efforts to meet this goal.
Want to learn more about our progress? Check out our year-by-year transition chart or watch our sow housing video.