Commitment to Animal Care

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We are ethically and morally committed to be responsible stewards of the animals placed in our care.

At the Farm

Each CVFF farm is designed with the health and welfare of the animals in mind…

  • Each CVFF facility is equipped with a computerized system that regulates the temperature and air inside the barn. In the event of a power failure, the backup system will allow the sidewall curtains to drop bringing in fresh air.
  • Sows are kept in a dry and cool environment controlled by an advanced ventilation system. The ventilation systems are designed to meet the respiration needs of sows during both winter and summer months.
  • The feeding system in each barn is designed so individual feeders can be adjusted to meet the nutrient requirements for each individual animal.
  • Fresh water is available for the animals at all times from an innovative swinging water system.
  • Each sow is individually cared for to ensure that she receives adequate feed for herself and her litter of piglets.

PQA Plus Certification

  • PQA Plus certification is an advanced education and training process endorsed by the National Pork Board which ensures everyone in a role of handling our hogs will undergo advanced training and education in animal welfare and handling
  • An important component of achieving PQA Plus certification involves third party on-site audits for accountability and to ensure compliance of the Program.
  • In addition to our own farms and team members, every contract producer must be PQA Plus certified as well as pass mandatory site evaluations. CVFF goes through great lengths to ensure that CFG receives hogs from only the most responsible producers.

Animal Housing

pork house

Providing the best animal care is a continuously improving process based on sound science, veterinary experts and agriculture experience and expertise. As an industry leader in animal care, Clemens Food Group has been researching gestation housing systems for over a decade, and has studied these systems in the United States, as well as systems currently used in Europe and Canada.

Several years ago we made the decision based on our research to transition our company-owned sows to a “free to roam” group housing system. All of our new farms are being built with free to roam, or open pen gestation. As we remodel older farms we transition these farms to free to roam as well. This decision was based on diligent review of sound research, and our ongoing commitment to give the best care to our animals.

The transition to free to roam housing is a complex process that takes years to complete. However, we have committed to our goal of converting all of our company owned farms to free to roam housing by 2017. We are currently on track to exceed that goal.

In addition, it is our belief that all sows supplying pigs to Clemens Food Group should be in a free to roam housing system. Therefore, we are committed, and have the commitment from all of our family farms who raise hogs for us, to have 100% of the hogs (not just company owned) coming to Clemens Food Group raised in free to roam housing. This would make us the first company in the industry to do so.

 

free-roam pigs

Overall Animal Health

Clemens Food Group is an industry leader when it comes to the judicial use of medications to care for our animals. Hog farms managed by CFG rank in the top 25% with the lowest medication use in the country.

pork medication

While CFG strongly endorses proper husbandry, hygiene, routine health monitoring and immunization, it is important to consider that antimicrobials are a critical part of maintaining the health and welfare of our animals.

Clemens Food Group is dedicated to producing a quality product that is safe and wholesome for our customers/consumers and at the same time free from antibiotic residues. Our program is focused on raising healthy swine by preventing disease while at the same time limiting the use of medications, including antibiotics

The Pork Quality Assurance Plus program provides producers with a strict set of guidelines to ensure that antimicrobials are directed by a licensed veterinarian and used according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) directives. The program also requires compliance with and monitoring of withdrawal times to prevent any residues in pork products.

The FDA requires that antibiotics undergo a vigorous review for safety to animals, humans and the environment before they are approved for use. Any antimicrobials used within this system for the treatment of sick animals are to be used in accordance with FDA guidelines and with a written prescription by a veterinarian.

Antibiotics are used judiciously; however, there are specific times when antimicrobials are used in a therapeutic manner (treating for illness) with direction of a veterinarian. We do not use antibiotics in sub-therapeutic doses (continuous use of low level doses in feed).

Click here to read CFG’s complete statement on Antibiotics.

Farm Promise

In July of 2014 Clemens Food Group officially launched a brand of products under the Farm Promise label. Farm Promise, among other things, means this segregated line of hogs have Never Ever been given antibiotics, growth hormones, fed animal by-products, and have been raised in free to roam housing.

Any animal in our Farm Promise system that falls ill and requires individual antibiotic treatment is identified and segregated from untreated animals and will not be sold under the Farm Promise brand.

Click here to learn more about Farm Promise.