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Breeding for social sustainability

The emphasis of the “social” pillar of sustainability is on the well-being of people: employees, customers, industry professionals, both current and future, and of course, our global communities. According to the International Poultry Council, the core strategy to achieve the objectives of this pillar is sustainable livestock production, along with food safety, food security, animal and human health. The goal of our industry is to provide safe and adequate supplies of poultry meat to feed a growing global population, sustaining societies of today and for generations to come.

This article, the last in our Breeding Sustainability series, will cover ways in which we strive to promote social sustainability.

Third pillar in series: Social. Photo: Aviagen
Third pillar in series: Social. Photo: Aviagen

Committed to put #FoodOnEveryTable

Aviagen is committed to protect the global food supply chain, enabling our customers to put #foodoneverytable in communities across the world. We apply multiple strategies, each serving to contribute to food safety and security. Bird health and welfare are our foremost priority, forming the cornerstone of our breeding programme. As a result of our sustained and comprehensive approach for breeding for health characteristics, we are proud that our birds are typically the products of choice for Antibiotic Free production. In our management support we provide guidance for the responsible use of medication when treating ill birds: using as little as possible, but as much as required.

Rigorous biosecurity is an essential aspect of security of food supply. Aviagen works hard to keep harmful pathogens out of the food chain through an effective biosecurity programme, safeguarding animal health along with food safety by following the strictest rules for health and hygiene. We also maintain production facilities on multiple continents and ship from various bases so supply can continue in the event of disease or other unforeseen circumstances.

Read the first article in the series: Breeding for a sustainable world

Strength in numbers

It is important for all stakeholders in the global poultry community to work together towards continuous improvement of animal health and well-being, as well as food safety and security, which, in turn, benefits the consumers. We recognise that as a primary breeder, we represent only one part of the larger industry. Therefore, transparency and open communication with policy makers, stakeholders, customers, industry associations and the wider society are at the forefront of everything we do. We consistently work with poultry associations in many countries around the world, making sure the poultry industry has a voice in regulatory decisions with the end goal of recognising and promoting the sustainability of the industry.

Training our future

The future of the industry depends on knowledge and also hinges on our ability to attract young, skilled professionals who have vision and passion. Experienced and future poultry professionals benefit from insight and information to equip them for a lifetime of success in their careers. One way we connect with the poultry people of tomorrow is by hosting student groups at our facilities around the world and making sure we have a regular presence at career fairs and workshops. We also hire interns from a range of educational institutions to work in our hatcheries, laboratories, farms and offices, offering them invaluable experiences and the chance to enter the job market with real-world know-how starting a career which cares about our planet and the people on it. . Aviagen is also dedicated to sharing the latest knowledge with customers and industry contacts to foster their success, holding regular schools, workshops, seminars and other events that combine classroom theory with on-the-farm learning. The philosophy behind each learning opportunity is to “train the trainer.” Thus, learning continues on long after class has ended, and the concepts covered in class are multiplied as each student shares the acquired skills and knowledge with colleagues at their home operations. As a result of the global Covid-19 situation, modern technology is being used in the form of webinars and remote support.

Aviagen is dedicated to investing in the future generation. Photo: Aviagen
Aviagen is dedicated to investing in the future generation. Photo: Aviagen

Caring for our communities

Aviagen cares about people in the communities where we do business, and we always look for ways to give back. We regularly contribute to charitable and community initiatives and volunteer our time to helping the more vulnerable members of society. Some of our initiatives include domestic and international charities -- local hospitals, social and cultural projects, medical causes and more -- either through direct donations or a plethora of fund-raising activities involving our employees. We realise that our activities and those of our customers are important for the viability of their local communities.

Read the second article in the series: Breeding for sustainable economies

Looking after people

Simply put, social sustainability means looking after the needs of our communities. Aviagen’s mission is to do our part in helping producers put nutritious and affordable #foodoneverytable, while also contributing in other ways to the well-being of people in communities around the world. Social sustainability joins the Environmental and Economic pillars as a holistic approach to ‘Breeding Sustainability’ for the people, the planet and the world’s food producers. By working every day to strengthen the three pillars simultaneously, we endeavour to show our commitment to our earth and the people who call it home.