Our primary aim as a company is to raise healthy animals. Our animal care management program, which guides the care of our animals at every stage of their lives, promotes their safety and overall well-being from gestation to processing.
Smithfield Foods has a long history of industry leadership in responsible animal production. Our comprehensive, systematic animal care management program, established more than a decade ago and improved and updated over time, monitors and measures the well-being of pigs on company-owned and contract farms. All farm employees and contract hog producers must employ the methods and techniques of the management system, and we take steps to verify their compliance. Read more about Smithfield Foods' animal care program www.smithfieldcommitments.com/core-reporting-areas/animal-care.
In January 2007, Smithfield Foods announced a voluntary, ten-year program to phase out individual gestation stalls at its company-owned sow farms and replace the gestation stalls with group pens. We had completed conversions to group pens for over 81.8% of our sows on company owned farms in the U.S. as of December 31, 2015. This program reflects our desire to be more animal friendly, as well as to address the concerns and needs of our customers. We will continue the conversion as planned with the objective of completing conversions for all sows on company-owned farms in the U.S. by the end of 2017. We believe this transition will help us meet demand for pork produced according to the highest industry standards.