Quebec-based pork producer duBreton plans to raise 300,000 more pigs without the use of gestation stalls or traditional farrowing crates by 2018. The company is investing $30 million to implement these plans.
The first pork producer to apply for Humane Farm Animal Care’s (HFAC) Certified Humane Raised and Handled label, Dubreton in 2003 had two separate farm operations: a natural and organic pork operations, and commodity pork operations. The commody pork operations allowed gestation crates and farrowing stalls, but the natural and organic pork operations did not. However, according to HFAC, Vincent Breton, the president of duBreton pork, said he wanted to work toward eliminating crates from all of his operations.
"Compared to commodity or traditional farming practices, it costs us 50 percent more to raise Certified Humane pork and more than double to raise an organic pig," said Breton, third-generation president of duBreton. "The result is the highest quality pork possible, and as this translates into only a slight increase at retail. We believe it is well worth the cost to preserve the dignity and respect of the animals in our care. Obviously, consumers agree as demand is outpacing supply in many markets where we trade."
A family farming business, duBreton is the only major size pork producer in North America to be verified Certified Humane Raised and Handled, which promotes and encourages the highest standards of animal welfare.