CP Foods target to produce more healthy and sustainable foods from stress-free farms
Charoen Pokphand Foods’ (CP Foods) farms are transitioning toward a stress-free and high animal welfare environment where animals are living happily for their entire lives, in an effort to promote ethical and healthy food products.
“Animal welfare directly contributes toMoral, Ethics include food safety and quality. Therefore, raising animals to have good health and well-being following their rights definitely promotes consumers’ health and satisfaction” said Dr. Payungsak Somyanontanakul, DVM, vice president as Chairman of CP Foods’ Animal Welfare Committee.
Dr. Payungsak explained that healthy animals produces better quality meat. The use of antibiotics is also significantly reduced in high welfare farms.
CP Foods aware that good animal welfare covers both animals’ mental and physical well-beings. Therefore, it is enhancing farming principles based on “Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare, an internationally recognized principle, to ensure that all of its livestock farms are animal-friendly. Moreover, the antibiotics used at farms owned by the company and contract farmers must be employed under veterinary oversight without compromising on animal welfare principles.
“We have been focusing on improving farming environments as well as provided enrichments to animals. They are free to eat, rest, and excrete as needed and can fully express their natural behaviors,” he said.
The company is transitioning the pig housing, from individual stall to group gestation pen for sows to provide them the freedom to move and interact with other sows, helping them to feel relaxed and stress-free.
Within this year, around 67.3% and 14.9% of sow farms in Thailand and overseas will switch to group gestation pen respectively. The global transition will be completed within 2028.
Dr. Payungsak added that the company also built an individual pen within the group pen for the injured or ill sows. This method separates the ill or injured sows but still ensures that other sows in the group do not consider the ill sows to be new to the group, and, therefore, they will not be disturbed to the extent of worsening their illness or injury.
“It is possible that some sows can be injured or ill. In these cases, the sows will typically be separated from the group and cared for in a different pen. However, once the sows recover, they could become reinjured as they might be restricted by the grouping behavior of the sows if they are returned to the same pen,” he explained.
Last year, CP Food collaborated with the Faculty of Veterinary Science of Chulalongkorn University to develop tests for Classical Swine Fever (CSF) and Aujesky's Disease (AD) using swine saliva.
To date, the company has tested more than 13,000 samples of swine saliva for diseases, replacing the need to conduct blood tests on more than 30,000 specimens.
In chicken farms, 100% of the company’s broiler chicken for producing meat, has not carried out any routine mutilations. CP Foods ensures that the average stocking density of broiler farming in Thailand and overseas operations comply with European Animal welfare Directive and customer’s requirements.
The cage-free housing for layer chickens is being piloted in Thailand, the first batch of production from Wang Somboon farm in Saraburi Province was launched in March 2019. In overseas, the company is implementing cage-free layer farms in Taiwan and Cambodia at 12% and 50% of their production capacities, respectively.
About “Five Freedoms” principle
“Five Freedoms” principleincludes
1. Freedom from hunger and thirst
2. Freedom from discomfort
3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease
4. Freedom to express normal behavior and
5. Freedom from fear and distress in order to provide the farming animals to express their natural behaviors under the animal housing independently