Animal welfare and sustainability are inseparable. Exceptional bird welfare is fundamental to all 3 pillars of sustainability. The 3 pillars of sustainability have been identified as environmental, economic and social. These are the areas that Aviagen supports to help create a sustainable future for the global poultry industry.
Healthy, well-cared-for animals are more biologically efficient and resistant to disease and have stronger livability. Because of the high merit of bird welfare, Aviagen centers at least a third of its selection focus on health and welfare traits. Not only are these positive qualities for the birds, but they are also economically beneficial to the businesses of the world’s farmers. The reality that good welfare is good business comes to life in this engaging animation.
Another priority selection focus is Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR), or the rate that feed is converted to live weight. FCR is the key driver of environmental sustainability.
Over the past 50 years, Aviagen has achieved a 1.5 to 2-point-per-year FCR improvement, yielding a 1% reduction in the annual carbon footprint of the global poultry industry. Aviagen balances welfare with feed efficiency and global food security because we care about our customers and want to provide everything they need to put a reliable source of healthy food on the tables of families around the globe.
Through balanced breeding, Aviagen has been able to advance bird welfare, efficiency and performance simultaneously and consistently. We are committed to continuous improvement, and our birds undergo regular trials to evaluate their field performance in all 3 areas. Trials are routinely carried out at our Research Facility in the Netherlands. Our team looked at the Ross 308 broiler, zeroing in on leg health and gait score as welfare indicators. The trials proved conclusively the steady and impressive rise in these welfare traits between broilers from 2016 onwards.
At the same time, strong field performance is a testament to bird efficiency, which brings with it a better use of natural resources, yielding economic and environmental sustainability advantages. A good measure of both broiler performance and efficiency is the European Production Efficiency Factor (EPEF).
At Aviagen, we believe that responsible breeding and sustainable production are the solution to effectively feeding the 8.5 billion people projected to inhabit the earth by 2030 in a way that is kind to our planet. Through continuous improvement in key health, welfare and efficiency indicators, we are demonstrating our commitment the economic sustainability of our customers, the world’s poultry producers, strengthening their ability to feed their local communities with health, affordable protein. At the same time, we are helping to protect our planet earth for today and tomorrow’s generations.