WATT PoultryUSA - December 2017 - 26
26 ❙ WATTPoultryUSA
CONSUMER BROILER WELFARE MESSAGING
Jerome Lyman, formerly VP global quality systems
McDonalds, and Eric Christianson, Perdue Foods
Jack Hubbard, American Humane Association;
Anne-Marie Neeteson, Aviagen; and Jerome
Lyman, formerly of McDonalds | Gary Thornton
| Roy Graber
might involve whether it is safe food, and what is meaningful
to the purchaser might be that it means price stability and
less angst about continuous supply.
Broiler welfare: marketplace or battleground?
When it comes to animal welfare, the consumer marketplace
may seem more the battleground on which ideas and emotions
are contested. On one side are the activists and on the other the
poultry producers and marketers. That's unfortunate for the
industry and its customers, Lymam said, because consumers are
uncomfortable with polarized positions about the food they eat.
"I worry that we get too hung up in trying to change
people's minds. That's a very, very difficult task. People
are personally invested in points of view. It may not be
worth the investment to try to change everybody's mind in
some of these conversations," Lyman said. "It seems there
is wide open opportunity to communicate with people
who just want to receive information presented in a way
they can relate to and makes sense to them."
Lyman offered this advice: The industry's messaging
on animal welfare needs to come across as balanced without being polarizing or too aggressive.
"Any business that tries to create a business case around
the 15 percent or so of consumers who will never agree with
the messaging is going to go bankrupt."
Finally, this bit of perspective: "I sometimes had a tough
time convincing my management at McDonald's over the
years that there will always be marketplace noise. You just
Sara Lilygren, formerly vice president corporate
affairs Tyson Foods, watches as Jack Hubbard, vice
president marketing at American Humane, speaks
at the 2017 Chicken Marketing Summit.
| Gary Thornton
have to get over it."
Eric Christianson said Perdue Farms focuses on three
measures of broiler welfare: mortality, paw health and the
ability to avoid the need for antibiotic treatment.
"We all believe that less mortality is better," he said,
pointing to Perdue's 95.66 percent livability rate in all
flocks started without the use of antibiotics.
Paw health, reflected by the incidence and severity of
foot lesions, is a closely monitored measure of both bird
activity and health.
Understanding those goals requires a recognition
that the company is committed to starting all flocks
with the goal of not having to administer antibiotics.
However, when antibiotics are needed to treat disease,
the treatment is never withheld. ■
www.WATTAgNet.com ❙ December 2017