Foster Farms goes 'free-from'

by MEAT+POULTRY Staff
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LIVINGSTON, Calif. – Foster Farms is the latest poultry processor to eliminate the use of antibiotics important to human medicine with the long-term goal of eliminating the use of all human antibiotics in its poultry production. The initiative is part of the company's antibiotic stewardship policy.

Additionally, the company is launching Foster Farms Certified Organic and Foster Farms Simply Raised lines of antibiotic-free chicken at major retailers throughout the West. The company said the evolved business strategy makes the family-owned business the largest producer of USDA certified organic and antibiotic-free chicken in the western United States.

“Our company is committed to responsible growing practices that help preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics for human health and medicine,” said Ron Foster, CEO and president. “We take a holistic approach to antibiotic stewardship. Our goal has been three-fold: reduce the need for medical treatment by advancing bird health; choose animal-only antibiotics when needed for conventional flocks; and increase antibiotic-free production. Our progress can be seen in local supermarkets today. West Coast consumers now have greater access to locally grown organic and antibiotic-free chicken.”

Key components of the company's antibiotic stewardship policy include:

• Foster Farms has eliminated the use of antibiotics critical to human medicine companywide and is working toward a goal of eliminating the use of all antibiotics that are used in human medicine, except in those instances where the clinical health of a flock is at risk.

• Foster Farms does not use antibiotics at any of its hatcheries.

• Antibiotics are not used for growth promotion or improved feed efficiency.

• When disease treatment is necessary, medical care will be overseen by a licensed veterinarian.

• Foster Farms’ antibiotic practices will be independently audited to ensure compliance with the stated objectives of the antibiotic stewardship policy.

Foster Farms executives will travel to the White House on June 2 to join national leaders in human and animal health and federal government representatives at the White House for the One Health Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship.
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