Animal welfare, reduced beef demand discussed by National Chicken Conference panel
Company leaders from Tyson, Cargill say industry needs transparency
Consumers may be looking for third-party verification that livestock is being treated humanely, rather than just a statement on packaging. Donnie King, senior group vice president poultry & prepared foods, Tyson Foods, gave that opinion during the Industry Outlook Panel at the National Chicken Council Annual Conference on October 3.
He also stated that Tyson's research has shown that while the end consumer may not care about things like gestation crates in the pork industry, some customers - food service companies - see them as a big issue.
"At Tyson we want to go out and validate what independent family farmers are doing," said King. "We care enough to go look, we care enough to learn, and when we find a better way, we'll use it."
See a video clip of King's comments.
John Keating, president of Cargill Beef, agreed the industry needs transparency. "Two years ago, Oprah Winfrey called and wanted to go through a plant, and we got a lot of good press from that," said Keating. "Millennials only believe something if it is on YouTube."
Commenting on the future of the beef industry and changing consumer preferences, Keating said he sees continued overcapacity in beef feeding and processing, at least in the short term. You can see his comments on WATTAgNet.com.