KANSAS CITY, Mo. – At the Animal Welfare and Handling Conference held in Kansas City Oct. 17-18, Eric Mittenthal, vice president of sustainability for the North American Meat Institute (NAMI), announced a new initiative called Trust in Animal Protein.

Don’t let the simple title fool you, because what NAMI is proposing is a major undertaking which is to design “…a universally adhered-to, globally accepted, outcomes-based standard for animal welfare at all points in the supply chain,” Mittenthal said.

“It’s a big goal. It’s something that’s going to take a lot of time and effort to achieve over the next decade. But we are committed to it,” he said.

A key part of the Trust in Animal Protein initiative is developing metrics that measure improvements in animal welfare. But it’s also about telling the industry’s story.

“That’s the key part of this — doing a better job of telling our story,” Mittenthal said. “We have a great story to tell.”

MEAT+POULTRY spoke with Mittenthal after the conference to get more details about Trust in Animal Protein and to learn why the industry needs this new standard for animal welfare.