There are five pillars Smithfield looks at when talking about sustainability: Protecting the environment, animal care, food safety, how we treat our employees, and the communities in which we operate.
Smithfield actively works to help consumers understand their company and improve the relationship. Yes, Smithfield is the largest pork producer in the world. Smithfield works to communicate with the outside world about what they do as a large company, sharing the Smithfield story.
The US EPA Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure rule was developed because of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. This new ruling applies facilities that have a total capacity to contain over 1320 gallons of oil, including gasoline, crop oil, vegetable oil, or animal fat. Fat can be an element for many feed mills, even fat in 55 gallon drums, and many farm operations can have gasoline or diesel fuel in sufficient quantity to apply. Facilities must have a plan in place to prevent the spill entering waterways. The plan does not have to be submitted to the EPA, but must be in place upon inspection.
The University of Missouri awarded the $50,000 Mizzou Advantage grant to Dr. Teng Teeh Lim to develop a computer model as a tool to help large producers understand the amount of their emissions and what they can do to address odor or emission issues.
"Measurement of emissions in the field can be very costly, very tedious to conduct and requires such hard work, set up and equipment maintenance for forever changing pollutants and exhaust from such facilities," Dr. Teng Teeh Lim [University of Missouri Extension researcher] said.
The computer model will be available on line late in 2011.
Independent of the belief in global warming, climate change, or carbon footprints, one of the tangible effects is that consumers and the general public are aware of carbon footprints. Consumers can and do influence purchasing decisions and how food products are marketed. In response to these types of consumer questions, the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association released a carbon footprint estimation toolkit for the poultry and egg industries.
The toolkit is an Excel based program used to assist facilities in evaluating their carbon footprint and was developed in response to the Environmental Protection Agency's greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting requirements and potential GHG regulatory requirements associated with the Greenhouse Gases Tailoring Rule.
The tool kit is free to members of the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and $200 US for all other parties.
Did the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations apply balanced comparisons between livestock and transportation, with respect to environmental impact? According to Dr. Frank Mitloehner, Agricultural Air Quality Center Director, University of California, Davis, the FAO's published report "Livestock's Long Shadow" misses the mark by comparing apples to oranges.
A true lifecycle assessment must be done on any system being compared.
You need to perform a complete life cycle assessment of both systems before any statements about livestock and transportation can be made and compared.
The Truth About Sustainability - Debunking "Livestock's Long Shadow" - Dr. Frank Mitloehner, Agricultural Air Quality Center Director, University of California, Davis , from the 2011 Animal Ag Alliance Stakeholders Summit, May 5-6, Arlington, VA, USA.
The National Air Quality Site Assessment Tool is an online resources to help you evaluate your livestock systems for potential air quality improvement. No data is collected nor is the operation identified. Angela Reick-Hinz, Iowa State Extension Agronomist, shares how the program works and how it can help farm and ranch operations.
Clint Hickman, VP of Sales & Marketing, Hickman's Family Farms, provides a poultry producer perspective on the issues in the industry and how to tackle them head on, not by running and hiding but by being open, proactive, and engaging. From the 2011 Annual Conference of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture, April 11 - 14, San Antonio, TX USA.
Dr. Lisa Becton, Director of Swine Health Information & Research, National Pork Board, provides an update on the sustainability and environmental improvements the pork industry is focused on. From the 2011 Annual Conference of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture, April 11 - 14, San Antonio, TX USA.