Annual and Sustainability Report | 2019
Rodrigo Bisolo
Integrated hog producer

On this farm, we work with collective pens; animals are together for much longer, in much larger pens.

With this, we see improvements to their quality of life, with better results consequently. And, in addition to collective pens, we have a climate control system for sows and piglets."

Our Business
Seara

Sustainability:
Animal welfare

Animal welfare is a material and priority theme at Seara and JBS as a whole. To be in line with best practices, the Company looks to the most relevant initiatives around the world on this theme as references, including the concept of the five freedoms of animals, applying them end-to-end in its production process. With around 9,000 integrated chicken, turkey and hog producers in Brazil, split among Company farms and integrated producer farms, Seara desires to be a reference in animal welfare in the country.

Seara uses external and internal guidelines to manage this area, guaranteeing fulfillment of requirements and alignment with best practices in the most demanding markets, such as the European Union. Company units are constantly audited and are certified based on the world’s most stringent initiatives, some of which are developed by customers. All producers, catching teams, carriers and technical teams are trained annually on animal welfare practices. During the year, about 9,000 producers and 100% of the internal team underwent training, with a total of 14,000 people trained.

The value chain is engaged with actions related to animal welfare through public and internal campaigns, technical visits, programs to raise awareness, animal welfare seminars and committees, operational training seminars, animal welfare committees and, moreover, with the help of a reporting channel, the JBS Ethics Hotline.

Worth mentioning among the commitments undertaken by Seara in relation to this topic are implementation of collective gestation stalls in 100% of the pork chain by 2025 and the exclusive use of eggs from chickens raised free of cages by 2020 in their products.

Seara works with the practice of desensitizing 100% of animals, with the exception of cases where religious requirements apply. The practices employed by Seara are monitored internationally by certifying institutions and customers holding stringent animal welfare requirements, such as Certified Humane, McDonald’s, Migros, Moy Park, Global GAP and WQS, among others.

Poultry farm in Seara (SC)

Breeding

One of the main practices at Company and integrated producer farms is that animals are fed using only feed formulated by the Company, by nutritionists specializing in poultry and pork, with ingredients that include corn, soy and other grains and which contains no hormones of any kind, in compliance with Brazilian law.

All inputs needed for production, such as chicks, vitamins, chlorine, disinfectants and, when necessary and prescribed by a Seara veterinarian, medications are provided to producers, who also receive ongoing assistance and training, in addition to periodic visits from the Seara technical team. There are around 500 field professionals, working to ensure that practices adopted comply with the Company’s principles, in addition to advising producers on best practices.

For production of day-old chicks, all hens are raised “cage-free.” In addition, at poultry farms (parent stock and grandparents), only roosters are debeaked. This procedure aims to improve animal welfare conditions by preventing hens from suffering scratching or injuries during copulation. All poultry transport is monitored to doesn’t exceed 12 hours from fasting to the final stage.

Ivan Cunico
Extension Agent

As extension agents,

our role is fundamental and relevant in relation to our producer, as an intermediary in harmonizing the interests of the Company and the producer. Day-to-day, we seek to maximize results, optimizing the farm to be highly productive, creating satisfaction for our integrated producer."

Seara uses Technical Guidelines (OTs) to define the criteria producers need to follow. Other control forms are used in addition to Technical Guidelines and checklists, so that Animal Welfare indicators can be systematically monitored and controlled. Certification audits, such as Global GAP, are also done at Seara production units.

Indicators such as housing density, percentage of calluses on birds’ feet, initial and final viability percentage, nutritional levels, appropriate feed availability, water quality control and availability, compliance with the five fundamental freedoms and environment control (temperature, humidity, ventilation, lighting and “bedding” quality) are on the list of factors controlled by producers, in an effort to guarantee animal welfare during production.

Animal health and safety are top priorities and are common to every line. Seara has a very strict internal policy on antibiotic use. The entire process of acquisition, use, registration and traceability is maintained in the production chain. The Company follows the premises of all of the markets and customers with which it works, while also complying with all items required by law in Brazil. Seara does not use antibiotics preventively at any stage in its production.

The Company made investments of around € 77.8 million in animal welfare, particularly in initiatives aimed at climate-control, comfort and availability of animal feeding equipment.

Seara Commitments to Animal Welfare

1- Transition from individual to collective gestation pens in pork production by 2025.
Current status: 58% adapted.

2- Maintenance of low densities in raising birds, with the maximum level set at 39kg/m2.
Current status: less than 35kg/m2.

Poultry practices

Poultry farm in Seara (SC)

Pork practices

Hog farm in Seara (SC)

Transportation

Animals are transported from farms to production units using a team trained to minimize animal stress, prevent injuries during transport and guarantee appropriate spacing inside transport crates or trucks. Drivers are instructed on emergency procedures in the event that a vehicle breaks down, the route is interrupted or blocked, the trailer is involved in an accident, there is a fire or when tires need to be changed.

The transport routine follows a series of indicators, such as crate density and weight in loading, as well as mortality percentage, so as to guarantee appropriate practices are adopted.

Production

For the production stage, each plant has at least one person responsible each shift with animal welfare training.

All team members who come into contact with animals are trained on preventing injuries and stress. The plant’s managers are responsible for ensuring that a sufficient number of team members are used on the hanging line during the entire process, which runs at a speed that does not cause stress to birds. After hanging, the animals undergo a desensitization process and continue to processing.

In the case of hogs, their skin must be moist and be free of excessive dirt. In the event that CO2 is used, the right concentration must be applied, respecting the minimum time and maximum number of animals in the chamber.

In addition to these measures, the Company invests in improvements to its production process. In 2019, approximately R$ 14.5 million has been invested in animal welfare improvements at Seara production units.

 

Turkey farm in Caxias do Sul (RS)

Special production

Seara maintains continual investments to assure a portfolio of high-quality products, in line with global market trends. To do this, the Company offers antibiotic-free, organic, vegetarian and natural products, in addition to its traditional product line.

Animal health and safety are top priorities and are common to every product range. Seara has a very strict internal policy on antibiotic use. The entire process of acquisition, use, registration and traceability is maintained in the production chain. The Company follows the premises of all of the markets and customers with which it works, while also complying with all items required by law in Brazil. Seara does not use antibiotics preventively at any stage in its production.

Notable in the Seara special portfolio are the Da Granja range, with antibiotic- and anticoccidial-free products and chickens fed using green feed; Organic Chicken range, with organic certification and free range animals; and the Nhô Bento line, with free-range chickens.

 

Control

Seara has specific certifications at some facilities that attest to its commitment to comply with national and international legal requirements, including Global Gap and HFAC/Certified Humane. For plants to export products, they must also comply with buyer country rules. Seara moreover performs quarterly internal audits of all processing plants, aimed at ensuring compliance with the requirements set forth.

 

 

Corporate Animal Welfare Committee

The Company has a Corporate Animal Welfare Committee, which is responsible for assessing and discussing topics relevant to businesses, with the goal of guaranteeing ongoing improvement in animal welfare at production units and in relation to matters strategic to the Company. The Committee describes procedures and implements the controls needed across the production chain to ensure that animal welfare is appropriately maintained. The committee also discusses strategies to inform and engage team members with this theme. This year, the committee developed the corporate animal welfare seal, to be used by Seara and Friboi, establishing a commitment by JBS as a company.

 

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