WASHINGTON, DC – April 18, 2001 – The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) today announced its policy and program on Animal Welfare. This announcement follows the formal adoption of FMI’s Animal Welfare Policy by its Board of Directors at the FMI Midwinter Conference on January 14, 2001. This policy was established to support industry programs that strengthen animal welfare, food quality and food safety.


FMI believes animal welfare issues, including animal husbandry practices and humane processing, are issues of importance to all of its members. Therefore, FMI’s Board of Directors has adopted the following industry policy and program components to be shared with our customers and our suppliers in the producer community.

  • 1.     FMI believes animals can and should be raised, transported and processed using procedures that are clean, safe and free from cruelty, abuse or neglect.

  • 2.     FMI will work cooperatively with its counterparts in the food industry to promote production “best practices” for each species that will strengthen food quality and safety, and ensure animal well-being at every step of the production process.

  • 3.     FMI will consult regularly with experts in animal husbandry, veterinary medicine and agricultural production to obtain objective, measurable indices of desirable practices in the growing, handling and processing of animals in food production.

  • 4.     FMI will continue to urge the appropriate state and Federal government agencies to strictly enforce animal protection laws.

  • 5.     FMI will work with suppliers to communicate examples of best practices in order to maintain consumer confidence in the safety of the food supply.

Program Components

  • 1.     Develop a set of retailer expectations for growers, producers and processors that are modeled on “best practices” for animal husbandry and humane processing.

  • 2.     Obtain the professional assistance of respected animal welfare experts and organizations in developing retailer expectations.

  • 3.     Review the set of expectations with the producer community to ascertain reasonableness, cost, feasibility and realistic time frames for implementation and verification programs.

  • 4.     Distribute the set of expectations as voluntary recommendations for retail companies to adopt and use in their discussions with current and future suppliers.

  • 5.     Support the formation of an advisory council as a mechanism for periodic, ongoing dialogue between the food industry and animal welfare experts on issues related to the care and processing of animals for food.

FMI will develop its program working with the assistance of animal welfare experts, including:

  •      Adele Douglass, Executive Director, Farm Animal Services
  •      Temple Grandin, PhD., Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University
  •      Joe Mac Regenstein, PhD., Professor of Food Science, Department of Food Science, Cornell University
  •      Gail C. Golab, PhD, DVM, American Veterinary Medical Association