The Animal Agriculture Sustainability Summit, held during the International Poultry Expo, focused on the importance of sustainability to the poultry industry, discussing questions about adding value to business and potential effects on future generations of the industry.
Donnie Smith, CEO and president of Tyson Foods Inc., talked about the "four Ps" of sustainability: people, planet, products and profit. "There is a great moral and ethical case for sustainability," said Smith. "There is also a great business case for sustainability." He said that part of the battle is reconnecting consumers with agriculture. "We need to do a better job as an industry of telling our story," said Smith. "The story is going to be told. Do we want to tell it, or do we want to let 'them' tell it? The person who steps up to the podium first, shapes the discussion."
Bryan Weech, the director of livestock agriculture for the World Wildlife Fund, said that the focus of sustainability efforts needs to be on science-based solutions and that embracing continuous improvement as a goal is essential to keep moving forward. As the human population is expected to increase by 3 billion by 2050, the world will need triple the food production. But, said Weech, there isn't any more farmable land available, so the increase in production will have to come through improvement in production practices and improved plant and animal genetics.