Food production requires the use of valuable natural resources. As one of the nation's largest poultry companies, Pilgrim's understands that it is our responsibility to be a good steward of these resources, and we have implemented the Pilgrim's Sustainable Progress system to help accomplish this goal. This system serves as the environmental framework for our day-to-day operations and long-range planning.
Our Pilgrim's Sustainable Progress Mission Is:
"To be an industry leader in sustaining air, water and land resources by minimizing the resources needed and the wastes generated at our facilities and farms, at our customers' locations and throughout our supply chain in the production of quality and affordable poultry products and by-products for our valued customers."
Our environmental sustainability efforts are focused in the following functional areas:
- Waste and Wastewater
- Wastes and By-Products
- Land and Air
- Supply Chain
Our Future: Sustainable Progress
Pilgrim's began as a small feed store more than 60 years ago and is now one of the largest poultry companies in the world. Our understanding of and commitment to environmental stewardship has always been strong, because as an agriculturally based company, we have always understood the importance of respecting and protecting the land, air and water resources we are afforded the privilege to use.
Our Pilgrim's Sustainable Progress system will continue to build on this foundation, allowing us to grow to meet the needs of our valued customers while sustaining the environmental resources we use for future generations.
Food Safety & Quality Assurance
Food safety is the heart of our business. We take it very seriously, and we continually review every aspect of our operations to ensure we are doing everything possible to provide safe, nutritious products to our customers and consumers.
As a fully integrated poultry company, we monitor every aspect of the production process – from the hatchery to the farm to the processing plant – to ensure we are providing our customers with high-quality products. Every Pilgrim's processing facility in the U.S. is regularly inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to ensure that our food products meet federal food safety standards. Although USDA provides oversight, all Pilgrim’s employees recognize that the responsibility to produce safe wholesome product is ours alone. And we proudly deliver on that commitment every day.
Each year we conduct numerous food safety and quality system audits using accredited, independent auditing firms.
All of our plants have been certified by the British Retailers Consortium (BRC), one of four audits recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative. These audits, which today are required by most of our retail customers, are used to evaluate a plant's food safety and quality programs. With 326 requirements that must be met before a final certification grade can be given, the audit is among the toughest in the industry. Earning a "clean sweep" of all plants passing this thorough audit for four years in a row is an unprecedented achievement, and we are extremely proud of each of our plants for their dedication and commitment to food safety and quality standards.
We continue to challenge all of our packaging and ingredient suppliers to utilize a GFSI scheme audit to show their parallel commitment to our food safety as well.
Third party oversight further validates that our staff of over 200 highly skilled quality assurance staff deployed throughout the organization are doing an effective job.
We conduct a rigorous food safety training program for our employees. All new employees receive training on quality assurance (QA) and food safety issues when they are hired, and participate in additional job-specific training depending on the employee's role in the production environment. In addition, all plant employees, management and QA/HACCP staff receive ongoing training on food safety policies and practices.
Pilgrim's adopted the USDA's Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems in 1989 – a full 10 years before the USDA established HACCP as the rule for meat and poultry processing plants. HACCP is a process control system that strengthens food safety by prioritizing and controlling potential hazards throughout the production process.
Over the years, Pilgrim's has invested millions of dollars in new poultry-processing equipment and quality assurance programs to improve the microbiological profile of our products, and these investments have clearly had a significant impact. We consistently outperform USDA’s performance standards on pathogen reduction.
In addition, our toll-free consumer hotline, 800.321.1470 is available Monday through Friday during normal business hours to answer questions from the public. This relationship helps us maintain a rapid response network for any concerns that are brought to our attention.
Our management methods drive continuous improvement in all aspects of our job. We continue to implement world class quality systems that will allow Pilgrim’s to drive even more improvement on quality.
Pilgrim's has a long history of supporting the local communities where our consumers and employees live and work. We understand the responsibility that comes with being a major employer in rural America and we work hard to contribute to the fabric and well-being of these communities.
Pilgrim's supports a wide variety of non-profit organizations in the local communities where we have operations. These non-profits include hundreds of organizations of every size, from large national groups like the United Way, American Cancer Society and March of Dimes, to small local organizations such as the Titus Regional Medical Center in Mt. Pleasant, Texas.
Over the years we have been active supporters of hunger relief efforts, donating millions of pounds of chicken to food banks and hunger relief organizations throughout the United States. For example, our donation of more than 100,000 pounds of chicken to the East Texas Food Bank several years ago was the single largest donation in the food bank's history, helping to feed families and needy children in a 26-county area. Pilgrim's has been a past sponsor of the food bank's summer food service program, feeding thousands of school-aged children.
Pilgrim's and our employees are also strong believers in the power of the United Way. Last year our employees raised money to support United Way agencies and volunteered to help in many "Day of Caring" projects in their local communities. Most of our company locations have formed Company and Community Pride (CCP) teams, composed of Pilgrim's employees who volunteer in their local communities. These CCP teams also pitch in to help employees and their families who are facing difficult life circumstances by raising money and volunteering their time.
Employee Issues/PRIDE Line: 888-536-1510
or visit the secure PRIDE Line site