WASHINGTON, DC — November 7, 2001— The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and The National Council of Chain Restaurants (NCCR) today announced a collaboration on efforts to further develop and support industry policies and programs to strengthen animal welfare and food quality.
“Animal welfare is a concern of the entire food retail industry,” said Terrie Dort, NCCR president. “Over the past year, the members of FMI and NCCR have developed strong programs on animal welfare issues. We believe combining our efforts will result in meaningful animal husbandry practices and humane processing.”

“FMI and NCCR share a commitment to comprehensive animal welfare policy and programs that are measurable and sustainable across the industry,” commented FMI President and CEO Tim Hammonds. “Together, we are working with suppliers in the producer community to ensure best practices are communicated and that we are guided by science-based policies.”

    The five specific goals of these combined efforts include:
  •      Consistency across the retail sector
  •      A measurable audit process
  •      Implementation of practicable and attainable guidelines
  •      An ongoing advisory council of third-party animal welfare experts
  • Improved communications across the supply chain on animal welfare issues

The FMI policy and program, approved by its Board of Directors in January 2001, and endorsed by NCCR consists of the following:

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.

      Policy Development Guided By Animal Welfare Experts
      FMI and NCCR continue to develop their program with the assistance of a panel of animal welfare experts, including:

      •      Adele Douglas, Executive Director, Farm Animal Services
      •      David Fraser, PhD, Professor, University of British Columbia
      •      Gail C. Golab, PhD, DVM, American Veterinary Medical Association
      •      Temple Grandin, PhD., Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University
      •      Joy Mench, PhD, Professor, Animal Science, University of California - Davis
      •      Joe Mac Regenstein, PhD., Professor of Food Science, Department of Food Science, Cornell University
      •      Janice Swanson, PhD, Associate Professor, Animal Sciences and Industry, Kansas State University
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