Sanderson Farms Inc. recently released its 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report highlighting the company’s commitment to social and environmental responsibility by illustrating the many ways why the company believes “it is a good day for chicken.” The 88-page, comprehensive report is the poultry producer’s most in-depth account of corporate responsibility practices to date. Omitting no aspect of corporate citizenship or sustainability, Sanderson Farms’ 2018 report reveals details regarding the company’s approach to fiscal responsibility, employee safety, animal welfare and nutrition, antibiotic usage, food safety, philanthropy, environmental conservation and much more.
“As a public company with a responsibility to shareholder returns, it is our job to ensure that not only is today a good day for chicken, but the day after that, the week after that, the month after that, the year after that and for the next decades to come,” said Joe F. Sanderson Jr., chairman of the board and chief executive officer. “After reading this report, I feel confident that readers will come to understand why we at Sanderson Farms believe it is always a good day for chicken.”
Demonstrating social responsibility through the company’s commitment to sustainable food production is just one of the many ways Sanderson Farms defines “corporate responsibility” in their latest edition of the Sanderson Farms Corporate Responsibility Report. Another key component of the company’s responsibility as a corporate citizen is demonstrated through the company’s commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility.
Since 2008, Sanderson Farms has tracked its daily usage of electricity, gas and water at each poultry complex in an effort to continually innovate processes and conserve natural resources. The use of these natural resources and utilities are measured against company goals and industry standards per salable pound. When compared to baseline values that were established in 2008, Sanderson Farms has achieved a 24 percent reduction in electricity usage, a 43 percent reduction in natural gas usage and a 44 percent reduction in water usage at the company’s production and processing facilities.
According to the report, the amount of electricity conserved by Sanderson Farms in 2018, as compared to baseline values established in 2008, would power all 11 of the company’s hatcheries for four years and over 165 days. By the same standard, the amount of natural gas conserved by Sanderson Farms in 2018, as compared to baseline values established in 2008, would power all nine of the company’s feed mills for one year and over 235 days.
In addition to conserving natural resources, Sanderson Farms utilizes a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility that treats water utilized in the company’s processing facilities to thoroughly clean and chill products as well as sanitize facilities. By utilizing biological treatment, oxygenation, clarification and ultra violet disinfection to treat wastewater, Sanderson Farms is able to recycle the water it consumes back into the environment through direct discharge to local streams or through land application.
“As a company, we fully understand our obligation to protect our environment by conserving natural resources, recycling resources utilized in our operation and creating renewable resources when possible,” said Pic Billingsley, director of development and engineering at Sanderson Farms. “We go to great lengths to ensure our facilities are designed and built to conserve precious natural resources like water, and we are always looking for ways to innovate and improve upon the progress we have already made in terms of being a responsible steward of the environment.”
For Sanderson Farms, being a responsible steward of the communities in which it operates also includes giving back to those communities that helped the company to achieve its success. During fiscal year 2018, Sanderson Farms donated $815,000 to charitable and community organizations, as well as $686,472 given to the United Way through company and employee donations. Sanderson Farms matches dollar-for-dollar every donation that employees make to the United Way. This corporate giving program allows all employee contributions to remain in the areas where the donations are made so that employees can witness the impact their donations have upon the local community.
Since 2011, Sanderson Farms has donated $10.6 million and over 1.7 million pounds of product to charitable and community organizations, as well as $3.6 million to disaster relief efforts. In addition to the charitable impact the company has upon the communities in which it operates, every time a new Sanderson Farms poultry complex is built, that complex creates approximately 1,100 new jobs, supports over 80 local family farmers and provides an estimated economic impact of $1.43 billion in the first 10 years.
“We feel like we have a responsibility to give back where we see the greatest need,” said Lampkin Butts, president and chief operating officer of Sanderson Farms. “Our success as a business is dependent on the success of the communities in which we operate, and we are responsible to each and every one of the communities where we operate. That is one reason why helping our communities succeed has been at the core of our corporate culture since the company was founded. We owe it to our employees and their families.”
To view Sanderson Farms’ 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report and learn more about the company’s approach to social and environmental responsibility, please click here.