Schwan’s Company strives to be a responsible steward of the environment, and we expect the same from our suppliers. We seek business partners who comply with all laws and share our commitment to using resources responsibly. In accordance with our “Standards of Conduct for Business Partners,” we expect our suppliers to behave ethically, set goals for eliminating and reducing waste and maintain production facilities that address community, environmental and social needs.
We expect all livestock producers, handlers and processors to provide safe and humane treatment for animals within their care. Our company does not raise or handle livestock of any kind. However, as a food company, we are committed to protecting animals from unnecessary suffering by working with our suppliers to ensure animal-handling practices meet the highest industry standards and all federal and state livestock regulations.
All suppliers of Schwan’s Company must be aligned with the fundamental values expressed in the internationally acknowledged Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare. The Five Freedoms are:
- Freedom from hunger and thirst by ensuring ready access to fresh water and a diet that maintains health and vigor.
- Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
- Freedom from pain, injury or disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis of an injury or illness and treatment.
- Freedom to express normal behavior by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.
- Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.
Ultimately, our goal is to create a supply chain that adheres to and champions these fundamental behaviors of animal care and husbandry. It is our commitment to review and work with our supply chain to ensure the safest, best environment feasible for animal welfare because it is consistent with our core beliefs and it is the right thing to do.
Here is our approach and commitments to specific animal welfare issues:
- Cage-free eggs. As part of a broader commitment toward sustainable sourcing, we have made a commitment to work toward a goal of achieving 100 percent cage-free eggs by the end of 2020.
- Dehorning or tipping. Schwan’s, along with our dairy suppliers, has a long-standing commitment to ensure that the best care is provided to animals at all times. When dehorning or tipping cattle to ensure the safety of other animals and farmers, we expect our suppliers to follow best practices established by groups such as the American Veterinary Medical Association.
- Pregnant sow housing. If gestation and farrowing crates are necessary to ensure the safety of animals and workers, we require our suppliers to follow standards set by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Sow housing and management systems should: provide every animal access to food and water; promote good air quality and allow proper sanitation; protect sows from environmental extremes; reduce exposure to hazards or conditions that result in injuries, pain, distress, fear or disease; facilitate the observation of individual sows to assess their welfare; and provide sows with adequate quality space that allows sows to assume normal postures and express normal behavior patterns. Schwan’s awaits further scientific studies prior to mandating crate free policies at this time.
Responsibly Sourcing Ingredients & Materials
Our goal is to responsibly source the ingredients and materials required to make and transport our foods to our customers. Here are some of our efforts:
- Packaging. We have developed a comprehensive packaging program over the last five years with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, which promotes sustainable forest management in North America and responsible procurement of forest products around the world. Currently, about 98 percent of our corrugate materials and 100 percent of our paperboard materials are SFI certified.
- Palm oil. We use certified sustainable palm oil products as a portion of our edible oil consumption. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil provides certificates to ensure consumers that palm oil is sourced from certified producers who adhere to strict farming, handling and processing systems.
Schwan’s Company subsidiaries support and require their suppliers to adhere to the "10 Principles of Fair Trade" as published by the World Fair Trade Organization. Our activities range from direct communication to collaborative efforts with suppliers to ensure they honor these principles in day-to-day operations.