US-RSPE poultry sustainability framework to launch in 2022

A full supply chain sustainability assessment tool designed exclusively for chicken, turkey and eggs will be available in early 2022.

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full supply chain sustainability assessment tool designed exclusively for chicken, turkey and eggs will be available in early 2022, the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Poultry & Eggs (US-RSPE) announced November 3.

The framework has been in development for more than four years, including eight full supply chain pilot assessments across chicken, turkey and eggs and two recently completed comment periods. More than 200 people across the industry provided feedback during the comment period.

“To me, it’s something that has never been done before. This allows us to meet people where they are, allows them to figure out how they can get better and allows us as an organization to figure out where we are as a supply chain and where we can improve going forward,” US-RSPE Executive Director Ryan Bennett told

The program measures sustainability performance across 13 priority areas, with an emphasis on people, planet and poultry. These areas were identified as crucial for building trust with consumers of U.S. chicken, turkey and eggs.

Data generated with the tool will be anonymized to create a report on 2021 poultry supply chain sustainability. Future reports will help guide innovation, drive improvement and support communication about the sustainability of the U.S. poultry and egg industry.

Multistakeholder approach to sustainability

The sustainability framework is unique because of its wide multistakeholder approach, which includes input from consumers, world-renowned researchers, environmental groups, feed associations, farmer-led organizations, welfare experts, social compliance and safety organizations, restaurant chains, retailers and grocery stores and poultry producers, processors, suppliers, breeders and everyone in between in allied industries.

“As a global food company, we have a responsibility, now more than ever, to be more sustainable,” Jessica Langley, director of sustainability at Pilgrim’s and JBS USA, said in a statement. 

“However, it will take the entire value chain to make an impactful difference as we all move forward. It’s equally important for all stakeholders in our supply chain, regardless of size, to be able to work together to continue to improve. US-RSPE gives us a pathway to work together.”  

Butterball, Cal-Maine Foods, Cargill, Darling Ingredients, Herbuck’s Poultry Ranch, Iowa Turkey Federation, Kreher’s Family Farms, McDonald’s Corporation, Peco Foods, Sanderson Farms, Tyson Foods, and West Liberty Foods were also involved in the development of the sustainability framework.

Collaborators wanted

With the launch of the framework, US-RSPE is looking to collaborate with other groups invested in improving sustainability.

“This is created to meet the needs of the poultry supply chain specifically, but at the same time, that doesn’t preclude us from working with other existing efforts,” Bennett said. “We want to build on these and help educate other in this space in terms of what’s actually doable.”

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