Maple Leaf Foods has strong values that deeply define our culture and how we operate. These values have a very direct relationship to how we treat animals we raise or source. Better care for our animals is one of our four sustainability priorities and reflects our goal to be a leader in animal care.
Maple Leaf Foods has strong values that define our culture and have a direct relationship on how we treat the animals we raise or source.
As the largest value-added meat protein company in Canada, we must be a leader in animal care. Animal welfare is an integral part of our culture and business. Our commitment to animal care focuses on progress in all of these areas:
- Minimize or eliminate the use of antibiotics in animal care
- Transition sows from confining gestation crates to open housing
- Build a world-class animal care program that will be the foundation of a strong animal care culture
We are committed to enhancing our animal wellness practices in a manner that advances the Five Freedoms – the most widely accepted global standard for responsible animal care.
The Five Freedoms
- Freedom from hunger or thirst by providing ready access to fresh water and a diet that maintains good health and vigour
- Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area
- Freedom from pain, injury or disease through prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment
- Freedom to express normal behaviours by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind
- Freedom from fear and distress by providing conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering
Our goals and performance
|2017 Priorities||Status||Our Performance||2018+ Priorities|
|Continue to transition all Maple Leaf sows to enhanced open housing by the end of 2021.||Completed our conversion of 33,000 sows to enhanced open housing. We are on track to complete 65,000 by end of 2021||
|Launch Remote Video Auditing (RVA) at one more facility and conduct pre-implementation planning at one to two more.||We completed RVA launch at Lethbridge facility in March 2017. We conducted a trial of new technology for poultry catching crews and profiled our Alberta hatchery and Edmonton Poultry plants.|
|Initiate independent review of our operations against our goals and commitments.||We have on going daily, weekly, and annual third party independent review of our farms, hatcheries, and live animal operations at our plants. We did not initiate a formal review against our goals and commitments but we will consider in future years.|
|Develop Key Performance Indicators to standardize and enhance internal and external reporting.||
We developed dashboard reporting on progress of various Animal Care projects and initiatives for all our operations. We will also continue the enhancement of internal audit processes across our facilities.
|Pilot initiatives to promote play and reduce boredom in sow and hog barns in 2017.||We continued to pilot and implement enrichment to all MLF barns with Nursery & Finisher barn trials underway. Sow barn trials still on going.|
|Pilot enrichment in Maple Leaf breeder barn and engage an independent producer in enrichment pilots.||
We engaged an independent producer council on enrichment in poultry barns. We have no current plans in 2018 to pilot enrichment in breeder barns.
|Implement our poultry transportation strategy.||We initiated new projects for new on farm resources and digital transportation monitoring. A formal program is in place with reduced in-transit risks to welfare.|
|Planning Poultry CAS (controlled atmosphere stunning).||
We have incorporated CAS and modular loading in our capital planning process.
|Develop a Maple Leaf Technical Manual to further describe our Animal Care Program.||
We developed a Technical Manual for internal MLF use. It is used to foster discussion with our customers.
|Develop and implement two additional modules of animal care training in 2017.||
Poultry Plant Euthanasia & Handling launched summer 2017. Our Animal Care 101 training module has been developed, and will be delivered in 2018.
Achieved Partially Achieved On Track Deferred