The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) executive board of directors has decreed to make the issue a ‘non-competitive’ one, and is urging its members to share sustainability best practices with each other and free up staffs to advise others in the industry seeking to improve their environmental impact for the good of the industry and the planet.
“Many meat and poultry companies have integrated sustainability into their businesses and have successfully shown they can lower their impact on air, land and water,” said NAMI president and CEO Julie Anna Potts. “Sharing these best practices across the industry is a win-win for members, consumers and the environment.”
NAMI currently has almost 400 processor or packer members, 239 supplier members and 85 allied members.
Its environmental committee has been working collaboratively for many years and NAMI introduced an environmental awards program that recognizes plants that have implemented strong environmental programs and are dedicated to continuous improvement. To aid collaboration, NAMI will also develop a list of advisors who are available to troubleshoot problems and help companies apply best practices.
Environmental impact is the fourth issue deemed non-competitive by NAMI members. The others are worker safety in 1990, food safety in 2001 and animal welfare in 2002.
“Sharing best practices throughout our membership has been proven successful within the meat industry,” said Potts. “The industry has demonstrated substantial improvements in worker safety, food safety and animal welfare since they were made non-competitive.”
Potts pointed to success seen by industry collaboration such as: the development of voluntary ergonomic guidelines and the 80% reduction in worker injuries and illnesses; reductions in pathogenic bacteria on meat products including E.coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes contributing to 99.999% of meals with meat and; and more than 95% of the meat produced in plants that voluntarily follow the guidelines and animal welfare audit program created by Dr. Temple Grandin.