Do you ever watch the Food Network? Do you have your DVR set to record Discovery channel’s How It’s Made?
If you’re like most consumers, you’ve had questions about where your food comes from, and you’ve most likely gone to the Internet or TV to find answers. The development of social media and video sharing in America and around the world has provided a great opportunity for food producers.
Our desire is to show consumers the truth about what we do, in order to dispel rumors, correct misinformation, and answer consumers’ questions about the farm side of our operations. Optimally, we would invite each and every consumer to tour our facilities and see firsthand that we care for our employees, animals, and the environment. But of course, arranging tours on such a large scale is impossible. Aside from the logistical issues associated with millions of people touring facilities, we cannot compromise the comfort and safety of our animals—there are bio security concerns associated with so many potential visitors to hog farms as well as concerns about causing stress to the animals.
In light of these concerns, last year Murphy-Brown began documenting hog production through video. This footage is the first of its kind in the modern pork industry, and Murphy-Brown hoped that it would be used in educational capacities, used by traditional media outlets in news reporting, and would be viewed by the public. This way, even though consumers cannot physically tour the farm, they are still able to learn about their practices and values.
The filming and editing process took many months and included trips to facilities across the country and meetings with farmers, animal care experts like Temple Grandin, company employees, veterinarians, and company executives. It eventually resulted in the creation of seven videos, ranging in length from three to 10 minutes. The videos were officially released on March 7, 2011, and the story was picked up by the Associated Press along with many other mainstream media sources. Various industry publications have also asked for interviews and comments regarding the video series and what it means to the pork industry. The videos received over 8,000 views on their release day and have over 27,000 views to date.
You can view the videos on our YouTube page, our SchoolTube page, and on Murphy-Brown’s corporate website.