Animal welfare

OUR MISSION, PURPOSE AND BUSINESS STRATEGY

In the last few years, we have maintained the ambition of making BRF the most relevant and inspiring food company in the world, with a business model that values its final consumer, the strength of its brands and the sturdiness of its chain of production.

Our Food Vision, the sustainable growth path that moves our chain, is based on cornerstones that reposition and guide the business towards its real importance – Connecting with Nature, Nurturing Life and Preparing with Love. Inspiration that shows how our company’s activity intends to connect to the consumer and to society in a broader way, since we deal with a broad vital balance, which includes our animals, the families that are a part of our chain of production and the hundreds of millions of people that buy our products.

As part of that ambition, we have consulted with several of the company’s internal and external relationship audiences, with the intent of mapping the perception of present and future key issues, as well as the social, environmental and economic impacts related to our activities. Several stakeholders, as clients, suppliers, consumers, BRF employees and members of high management, identified the importance of subjects related to the company’s sector and business model, among them the animal welfare practices.

This way, BRF recognizes that valuing the natural capital in its productive processes and relationships is essential and its complete responsibility, as a promoter of sustainable development. Therefore, we work continuously in great approaches that contemplate not only our own operations, but the chain as a whole, including human development, eco-efficiency, among others.

ANIMAL WELFARE: OUR CAUSE

BRF wants to bring positive change to its entire global chain, acting ever more ethically and responsibly. The animal production is the basis of our business, making animal welfare naturally one of our big causes, a cause we support not only inside the company, but outside the BRF universe as well.

We structured our practices and commitments through the Animal Welfare Made in BRF global program, which stablishes continuous policies, processes, indicators and training sessions, respecting the specificities of each place where we are present, being them environmental, cultural, meteorological or religious. With this program, we aim to walk a path paved with a solid and truthful support globally.

To help keep the project up, we have a partnership with the World Animal Protection NGO (WAP) since 2014, which resulted in both parts signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). WAP is a partner when it comes to identifying opportunities of improvement to increase animal welfare, and, parallel to that, we seek continuous development in all our processes that involve animals.

There are monthly meetings for our Work Group to follow-up on the developed actions, as well as our Technical Groups, where they discuss the projects that are underway. Apart from that, every trimester the indicators that were stablished together are sent out, in order to measure BRF’s evolution on the issue. To find out more about the governance, go to Our Commitments.

OUR ACTIONS

BRF’s commitment and transparency are acknowledged by its standing as a reference in good practices. It is not by accident that we are a part of the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) international ranking, being the only food company from Brazil to be placed at Tier 2 in that ranking. The company also owns a case in the brochure The Corporate Principles for Food and Agriculture as guidance for the Sustainable Development Objectives from the UN’s Global Pact.

Our performance is guided by the BRF Commitments to Animal Welfare, made to the public, applied globally and in all steps of our production process. These commitments are guided by standards that go beyond the national (and in some cases, international) norms and legislation, as well as the five animal freedoms, conceived by the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC), which are:

1. Physiologic freedom: animals free from hunger, thirst and undernutrition;
2. Environmental freedom: animals free from discomfort;
3. Sanitary freedom: animals free from pain, lesions or diseases;
4. Behavior freedom: animals free to express their natural behavior;
5. Psychological freedom: animals free from fear and distress.

We also have a team of ambassadors known as the “Animal welfare officials”, who are trained to be responsible for guaranteeing those directions, commitments and goals are fulfilled. The program includes assessment of gaps and opportunities, with plans of action for short, medium and long terms, so we can reach our global objective of maximizing animal welfare.

We actively participate in the discussions about animal welfare in the sector’s entities, such as the Brazilian Association of Animal Protein (ABPA) and the International Poultry Council, on which we are members. Besides that, through sharing our technical knowledge and financial investments, we support scientific summits related to the animal welfare subject in outstanding universities, such as the Universidade de São Paulo (USP).

Another strong partnership we have is with the famous English chef Jamie Oliver, who is a reference when it comes to the requisites of animal welfare, in the lines of Sadia poultry-based products. This work validates the path that we have taken, treating animal welfare as a cause, innovating and pioneering on that field. It also gives us strength for the journey to raise awareness and educate our audiences regarding the subject and food sources.

Find out more about the partnership and what we believe in with this line of products at http://www.sadia.com.br/jamieoliver.

ABOUT OUR CHAIN

BRF is a company that works with a vertical integration system, which consists in a partnership where the company supplies the animals, intakes and technical assistance, while the integrated producers supply the workforce and the structure to raise the animals following the desired animal welfare standards.

The corporate rules for raising and slaughtering animals are the same for owned and integrated units, in a way that all the guidelines of the Animal Welfare Made in BRF global program are used as a standard for the entire company’s production. We perform consistent audits and verifications and, if something is not adequate, a plan of action is stablished to address the issue, with the possibility of a break of contract if the guidelines are not followed.

CERTIFICATES

Currently, 15% of BRF’s total global production volume is certified by external organizations that support the work performed in our poultry farms and factories. Find out more about those certificates:

  • CERTIFIED HUMANE

    International certification that considers the animals quality of life since birth. The demands are superior to several global standards and guarantee, among several factors, that the animals are free to express their natural behavior. The more than 180 BRF poultry farms in Buriti Alegre (GO) are certified and we are expanding those practices to the other units.

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  • GLOBALGAP IFA

    Focuses on animal welfare and management practices pre-farm-gate (before leaving the production unit), reaching the entire farming chain, from the poultry producers to the incubators and the chicken integration.

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  • GLOBALGAP CFM

    Contemplates good practices for producing animal feed for production animals. An appropriate animal nutrition is a crucial part of the food chain, since a quality feed is the basis for animal welfare.

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  • GENESIS GAP STANDARD

    It is one of the most valued guidelines for good farming and animal welfare practices. 100% of the chicken producers in Thailand have a third party certificate, meaning a certificate granted by a credited independent organization.

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  • ALO FREE

    Swiss tracking program for the production control of chicken and turkey without antibiotics and/or antimicrobial substances that enhance growth. That is a certificate which can be applied to the entire chain of production, from the incubators to the slaughterhouse, including the animal nutrition. Other countries such as Netherlands and Germany recognize the certificate that is granted under Swiss law.

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  • BRC

    Developed by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), a commercial organization from the United Kingdom that represents seller’s interests, the BRC rules were conceived to stablish guidelines for due diligence, supplier approval, industry quality, following legal obligations, protecting consumers and product safety.

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  • IFS

    These are guidelines from the International Featured Standard that apply to all companies involved in food processing and packaging.

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STS

Animal welfare project organized by a Swiss chain of stores. Included in the universe of that certificate are chicken, animal transportation and slaughter, always seeking an elevated level of animal welfare.

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