Perdue has a long history of stewardship, as embodied in our Values of People, Products, Profitability and Planet. That's stewardship on behalf of our associates, of the products we produce, of the company for its future success and of the resources we use. That mindset has continued as the company has become more public about its commitments to be a good steward, particularly in the areas of environment and animal welfare. It is what drives a spirit of collaboration and finding common ground with stakeholders who are interested in what we do, and it is an approach that’s served us well.
Our openness to acknowledging and embracing other points of view is evident through our no-antibiotics-ever and animal welfare initiatives. We have simultaneously taken this same approach in the environmental arena.
We are proud of the number of relationships Perdue has built with environmental groups. Perdue associates hold board member or commissioner positions for multiple organizations, including the Oyster Recovery Partnership, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Sustainability Advisory Board for the Smeal College of Business at Penn State University, Dean’s Global Leadership Council for the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Maryland State Commission for Environmental Justice and Sustainability Communities, and a Steering Committee member of the Delmarva Land and Litter Challenge. Over a year’s time, we will meet with more than 40 different non-government organizations and other stakeholders to find areas of common interest, how we can be better, and how to drive real change that is best for all our stakeholders and the environment.
The Delmarva Land and Litter Challenge (DLLC) is an excellent example of multi-stakeholder engagement and an approach to address a common goal. The DLLC is made up of river keepers, environmental groups, farmers, poultry companies, and state and federal agencies. The group has not always agreed on solutions or approach. However, positive relationships have been built, and varying viewpoints, stakeholder opinions and perspectives have been shared. We continue to work on understanding the overall nutrient balance on Delmarva and how best to approach policy and all parties to make sure the right nutrients go to the right place at the right time to grow our food while reducing the potential impact to the environment. It’s a long process, but we’re confident we will get there.
Most recently, we are excited to build a new partnership with ShoreRivers—a local water keeper on the Eastern Shore of Maryland—and continue our work with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay to communicate opportunities to use grant money and other resources to implement best management practices on farms. These opportunities are exciting because they help the farmers who grow our food both financially and technically to reduce environmental impacts.
At Perdue, what we have known for a long time is that farmers are the best stewards of our land, and if they have access to the resources, they will do what is best for their farm and for the environment.
We are committed to strengthening our environmental stewardship, with the help of these many partners.