Statement from Perdue Farms on Recent Labor Allegations
September 22, 2023
As a 103-year-old, family-owned, value-based organization, we hold our core values of quality, integrity, teamwork, and stewardship in the highest regard.
Recently, a media report alleged that a sanitation company, engaged by Perdue, had employed underage individuals for cleaning shifts at our Accomac Virginia facility in 2022. As a company, we prioritize engagement with the press on topics that are important to consumers and corporate responsibility in poultry. Unfortunately, the vast majority of what we provided to the news outlet was not included.
Underage labor has no place in our business. We are appalled by these recent allegations as they are not representative of who we are as a company and what we stand for. To that end, we are conducting a comprehensive third-party audit of child labor prevention and protection procedures, including a compliance audit of contractors and identity fraud review. We will take appropriate actions based on the findings of that investigation and plan to cooperate fully with any government inquiry on this matter.
The idea that Perdue prefers to avoid accountability – even if an individual is employed by a contractor – is absolutely false. We recognize the systemic nature of this issue and fully embrace any role we can play in a solution.
All associates we hire must provide documentation to confirm compliance with hiring requirements and authorization to work in the United States. Once an associate accepts an offer, we enter this information into E-verify for employment authorization confirmation and I-9 compliance. External vendors are also required to adhere to appropriate policies and protocols to ensure compliance and safety for all entering our premises. Those are expectations we include in our contracts with vendors.
At Perdue Farms, our commitment extends beyond providing superior products to our customers; we prioritize putting people first and contributing positively to the communities where our associates live and work. The well-being of our associates and all individuals involved in our operations is of utmost importance. We have stringent, long-standing policies in place to ensure the safety of everyone working in our facilities, including robust measures to prevent minors from engaging in hazardous work in violation of the law. We hold our suppliers to the same elevated standards.