Canadian pork producer goes humane
Canadian pork producer duBreton to spend $30,000,000 to raise pigs in a humane environment.
WINNIPEG—Private Canadian pork producer duBreton has a $30-million plan to raise an additional 300,000 pigs over the next three years, without housing them in stalls.
With the crate-free farming, duBreton will seek to sell the meat products for premium prices for meat raised humanely.
“DuBreton has been at the forefront of the humanely raised movement since the late 1990s, and this announcement simply solidifies and expands our commitment,” says DuBreton president Vincent Breton.
“Compared to commodity or traditional farming practices, it costs us 50 percent more to raise Certifed Humane pork and more than double to raise an organic pig. The result is the highest-quality pork possible, and as this translates into only a slight increase at retail, we believe it is well worth the cost to preserve the dignity and respect of the animals in our care,” he continues. “Obviously, consumers agree as demand is outpacing supply in many markets where we trade.”
Rivals in the Canadian market Olymel LP and Maple Leaf Foods Inc. have already announced plans to convert its pig barns to crate-free or open-housing by 2022 and 2017, respectively.
Conventional farms raise pigs in two-foot x seven foot (0.6-meter by 2.1-meter) crates that are so small it prevents them from being able to turn around. Crate-free, pigs are free to move about in a communal area.
Going crate-free does increase farm costs by up to 50 percent, however, but Breton acknowledged that will be made up from higher sales prices, as apparently consumers have indicated a willingness to purchase products containing humanely-raised animal meats.
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