Committed to our Natural Resources
Jim Perdue, Chairman of Perdue Farms, explains the steps we are taking to protect the natural resources where we live, work and play.
You could say our environmental responsibility started with the understanding of reuse and recycle, a lesson Frank Perdue learned from his father and founder of Perdue Farms Arthur Perdue. Arthur Perdue was known for saving the leather from his old shoes to make hinges for chicken house doors. So, reusing and recycling are nothing new for Perdue! That understanding of the importance of being frugal and maximizing the available life of all resources has evolved into one of our company’s core values: stewardship.
For us, stewardship is protecting the environment, ensuring the well-being of our associates, providing for the welfare of the animals in our care, living up to our civic responsibilities and generating earnings for the future of our company. It’s the real driver for our efforts. Through our environmental stewardship scorecard, we have established aggressive goals for reductions in greenhouses gases, water use and solid waste by 2022 and are committed to reporting our progress.
Here are some of our stewardship successes that move us toward fulfilling our Vision: “To be the most trusted name in food and agriculture products” as we navigate into our second century.
We will continue to work toward, and report progress on, our environmental goals. Because, we truly believe in responsible food and agriculture.
In 2018, we established aggressive five-year goals for reductions in greenhouse gases, water use and solid waste by 2023.
Select a region to learn more about projects and partnerships across some of our communities.
"For nearly 13 years, Perdue Farms and its dedicated volunteers have rolled up their sleeves and put in countless hours to support the Oyster Recovery Partnership and a healthier Chesapeake Bay. Their team has contributed to a successful Marylanders Grow Oysters program on the Eastern Shore by producing thousands of shell bags for important local oyster restoration projects. We are grateful for their ongoing efforts to ensure a healthy future for our beloved Bay."
- Ward Slacum, Executive Director,
Oyster Recovery Partnership
"Since 2008, Project Clean Stream saw significant growth thanks to the help from Perdue’s sponsorship. What started as a single day clean up event, grew to a whole season of clean ups throughout the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed. Of course, we could not have achieved these amazing results without the help from sponsors like Perdue, who help us grow through outreach, engagement and support."
- Kate Fritz, Executive Director,
Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
In 2008, Perdue Farms and its associates joined the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay’s Project Clean Stream initiative to clean up waterways and shorelines in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Since then, Perdue has expanded the Project Clean Stream concept across the company and engaged associates in environmental clean-up projects in our communities.
Since our partnership with the Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP) began in 2009, Perdue volunteers have created 10,000+ shell bags. In total, these bags have supported the planting of up to 25 million young oysters in local Chesapeake Bay watershed waterways through the Marylanders Grow Oysters program.
We recognize that our consumers, customers and communities expect us to be responsible stewards of our shared natural resources. We also recognize that producing more with less is not the full measure of sustainability, and that we need to take a holistic approach that overlaps with our commitments to food safety and quality, animal welfare, associate well-being, consumer preferences, community concerns and supporting family farms.
In pursuit of our vision "to be the most trusted name in food and agricultural products." We know we must go beyond compliance to actively address the full range of environmental stewardship challenges related to animal agriculture and food production. We know that environmental stewardship includes partnering with and supporting efforts and organizations that bring stakeholders together to protect our natural resources.
We count stewardship among our core company values and incorporate environmental sustainability into our company goals, which the senior leadership team and board approve.
As part of each Perdue facility’s Environmental Sustainability Scorecard, each location is required to undertake an annual Facility Sustainability Project. The projects must show a reduction in emissions, wastewater, natural resources consumption or solid waste.
The projects, led by “Green Teams,” engage both hourly and salaried associates in sustainability efforts and further instill environmental stewardship and our value of teamwork in the workplace culture.
Following its commitment to 1% for the Planet, Spot Farms partnered with Savory Institute to donate 1% of annual sales to help expand their mission of regenerative sourcing solutions for meat, dairy, wool and leather.
Through a global network of learning Hubs, the Savory Institute empowers farmers, ranchers, and pastoralists to use properly managed livestock to regenerate land and livelihoods. The nonprofit seeks to improve land health each year to ensure viability for future generations of farmers.
The Savory Institute has trained more than 12,000 farmers and ranchers in regenerative agriculture and measured the soil health, sequestered carbon, water infiltration rates and biodiversity of millions of acres of land to date.
The farmers who raise our poultry retain ownership of their litter because it is a resource that has value to them. For farmers whose crops need the nutrients in poultry litter, it can offset the costs of chemical fertilizers while improving soil quality. For those who cannot or do not want to use their litter, it is an agricultural commodity that can be sold to generate additional farm income or bartered.
Since poultry houses are enclosed and there is no liquid waste, there is no manure discharge from poultry houses. The small amount of manure deposited outside the house on free-range farms helps to support the vegetation in the pasture area.
We require all of our poultry farmers to have a nutrient-management plan for the poultry operation. In addition, state regulations, such as the Phosphorus Management Tool (PMT) in Maryland, further regulate the movement and placement of poultry litter and fertilizers. Litter, like any other fertilizer, is used by farmers in accordance with nutrient-management plans that match fertilizer application to the needs of each crop, minimizing the potential for nutrient runoff.
While poultry farmers are responsible for making sure litter from their farms goes to an approved use, crop farming and poultry production are two separate activities.