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Industry leaders strengthen collaboration on food security

gerenme/Getty images Case of packaged hamburger meat
SUSTAINABLE PROTEIN: Technology can help back up the food chain’s sustainability measurements, from the cow-calf rancher to the feedlot, to the processor — and ultimately the retail case. However, work still needs to be done to improve consumer perceptions of those technologies and their role in ensuring animal health and welfare and a sustainable system.
Declaration strengthens efforts to ensure families in need have enough animal protein.

The North American Meat Institute’s (NAMI or the Meat Institute) Executive Board voted unanimously late Friday to designate food security a non-competitive issue, strengthening industry-wide efforts to end hunger and ensure families in need have access to nutrient-dense meat.

“Meat is one of the most needed products for families in need, and the Meat Institute’s members give generously nationally and locally to meet this need,” commented Julie Anna Potts, president and chief executive officer of the Meat Institute. “Ending hunger requires even greater collaboration. Declaring food security a non-competitive issue will allow the Meat Institute and its members to freely share best practices, an especially important step as the industry prepares to support the September 2022 White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health.”

Through the Protein PACT for the People, Animals and Climate of tomorrow, the Meat Institute has committed to fill the protein gap by 2025, ensuring families in need have enough high-quality protein to meet U.S. dietary guidelines. The Protein PACT encompasses the Meat Institute’s sustainability framework and aligns the entire animal protein supply chain to accelerate achievement of global goals for healthy people, healthy animals, healthy communities and a healthy planet.

The Meat Institute has also established a Food Security Committee, co-chaired by Tim Grailer of Tyson Foods and Pete Stoddart of Cargill. The committee will bring Meat Institute members together to facilitate discussion, information-sharing, and problem-solving related to charitable giving, hunger relief and food security, for example related to cold storage and distribution infrastructure.

The Protein PACT will convene a stakeholder session this week, bringing together Protein PACT partner organizations, Meat Institute members, and experts in animal protein and food security to discuss animal protein’s role in ending hunger. Stakeholder session key outcomes will be submitted to the White House organizers for the Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health.

Sharing best practices on non-competitive issues has paved the way for substantial achievements in worker safety, food safety, environmental impact and animal care. Successes include:

  • Developing voluntary ergonomic guidelines and over 80% reduction in worker injuries and illnesses, regularly reaching all-time industry lows;
  • Drastic reductions in pathogenic bacteria on meat products including E.coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes contributing to 99.999% of meals with meat and poultry being enjoyed safely in the U.S. daily; and
  • Over 95% of the beef, pork and lamb produced in plants that voluntarily follow the animal welfare guidelines and audit program by Dr. Temple Grandin.

The Meat Institute is the United States’ oldest and largest trade association representing packers and processors of beef, pork, lamb, veal, turkey, and processed meat products. NAMI members include over 350 meat packing and processing companies, the majority of which have fewer than 100 employees, and account for over 95% of the United States’ output of meat and 70% of turkey production.

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