Criteria for this audit are based on the “National Chicken Council Animal Welfare Guidelines” published by the National Chicken Council (2014) and “Poultry Slaughter Plant and Farm Audit: Critical Control Points for Bird Welfare, August 2005,” published by Temple Grandin, PhD, at www.grandin.com.
NutriSciences conducted annual audits at all 12 of our poultry live-production and harvesting operations, including hatchery, growout (farms), catching and transportation, and processing. The audit covered a total of 65 audit points, scored on a scale of 1–5, for a maximum possible score of 325 points. Operations were rated on a percentage basis.
Our USDA Process Verified Program covers all of our live-production and harvesting operations. The audit tool combines the principles from the National Chicken Council and our “Best Practices.” Participation in this program is approved by the Agricultural Marketing Service of the USDA. Companies that operate under a Process Verified Program must comply with criteria outlined in the program requirements, and are audited annually. Since the AMS audits were developed utilizing ISO 9001 Guides for Quality Management Systems audits, they are not “scored.” Instead, they only identify non-conformances, which are classified as “major” or “minor” and “continuous improvement.”
The past year, the USDA Livestock, Poultry, and Seed Program’s Quality Assessment Division conducted annual audits of all 11 of our chicken live-production and harvesting operations for conformance to our USDA Process Verified Program for poultry pare. Each audit covered a minimum of 188 audit points in more than 50 areas. Over the last 12 months, our PVP audits:
Some of our customers require Global Animal Partnership (GAP) certification, which applies to the farms raising chickens for those products. GAP certified farms are audited every 15 months.
Every farm raising organic chickens for us is third-party audited for meeting the requirements of the National Organic Program for USDA Certified Organic. Farms are inspected annually by third-party organic certifiers.
Our operations are regularly subjected to audits by our customers to ensure adherence to their standards. We passed all customer audits.
We use third-party video monitoring in live-bird handling areas of all 11 of our broiler harvest facilities. This includes random reviews of video, covering 15.5 million birds in 348,000 audit events over the past 12 months. During that time, we achieved a compliance rate of 99.9 percent.