Smithfield Foods Phases Out Sow Gestation Crates

Smithfield Foods Phases Out Sow Gestation Crates

by Gina-Marie Cheeseman
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Companies phasing out sow gestation crates from pork #supply chains via @Justmeans

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Friday, January 16, 2015 - 4:00pm



Smithfield Foods, Inc. is serious about making its supply chain more humane. Murphy-Brown LLC, the hog production subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, Inc., is well on its way to phasing out sow gestation crates. In 2014, 71.4 percent of Murphy-Brown’s company owned farms in the U.S. transitioned to group housing. The company increased the amount of pregnant sows in group housing systems by almost 20 percent from 2013. At the beginning of 2015, more than seven out of 10 pregnant sows on company-owned farms in the U.S. are in group housing systems.

Smithfield’s goal is to phase out gestation crates on company owned farms in the U.S. by the end of 2017. The company made that commitment in 2007. A year ago, Smithfield announced it had recommended that all of Murphy-Brown’s contract sow farmers phase out sow gestation crates by 2022. Smithfield’s international goal is to phase out gestation crates from all company owned farms by 2022. Two of its international hog production subsidiaries, AgriPlus and Smithfield Ferme, completely converted to group housing. Smithfield is the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer. 

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Photo: Mercy For Animals MFA


Gina-Marie Cheeseman is a central California-based journalist who writes about sustainability, environmental issues, and healthy living. With a degree in journalism and a passion for social responsibility, she writes for a number of online publications. She believes that collaboration between the public and private sectors can help solve many problems facing the planet and its people. named Cheeseman as one of the “75 Environmentalists to Follow on Twitter.”