Butterball Foodservice, an iconic turkey brand, continues to set high standards for animal care and well-being. More than two-thirds of foodservice operators agree that it is important to treat turkey humanely, and Butterball was the first turkey supplier to become American Humane Certified (AHC). Now approaching its third year being verified by the program, Butterball remains the only turkey manufacturer to earn this certification.
Humane certification systems
AHC is the nation’s first independent, third-party humane certification program for farm animals. Through rigorous inspections and examinations, the American Humane Association (AHA) reviews a producer’s care and handling of farm animals at hatcheries, farms and processing facilities to ensure all aspects of its operations meet or exceed the science-based animal welfare standards of the AHA.
Butterball also relies on an independent Animal Care and Well-Being Advisory Council of leading specialists in animal husbandry and care, including Dr. Temple Grandin of Colorado State University. The council helps facilitate open and transparent dialogue about best practices and new developments in turkey well-being. Dr. Alice Johnson, DVM, SVP, Food Safety, Corporate Quality & Animal Care for Butterball, LLC, founded and leads this council while working alongside the AHC to ensure Butterball exceeds all standards.
Butterball's response to humane certification milestone
“At Butterball, animal care and well-being are central to who we are as a company,” Johnson said. “When selecting a third-party certification, we identified the American Humane Certified program’s scientific, peer-reviewed standards for animal care and well-being as the best way to uphold our company values. We knew the certification would be thorough, and we set the goal and worked closely with all our partners to meet it. We are all very proud of the certification, as we want to do what’s right for Butterball and our customers.”
Kerry Doughty, President and CEO of Butterball, LLC, added, “It was a very important decision to invest in earning the AHC seal, and we rely on everyone to put the turkeys’ care and well-being at the forefront. With more than 20 years of experience in the poultry industry, Dr. Alice has served as the driving force behind our initiative. She works directly with me, independently of all other departments at Butterball, to ensure we’re always making the best decisions for our birds—and in turn, continuing to establish a spirit of trust and confidence with our employees, our council and our family farmers.”