Some of you are upset about media reports regarding an undercover video that appears to show abusive practices taking place at an Iowa hog production facility. The animal rights organization that produced this video has attempted to link Hy-Vee to this company, and has called upon our company to stop doing business with this supplier.
First, we want you to know that we take allegations of animal abuse very seriously. We expect our suppliers to adhere to accepted industry standards and best practices in their treatment of animals used in food production. We immediately made contact with the company portrayed in the video, and learned that they have launched an investigation into some of the actions depicted in the video that violate their own animal welfare policies. They also shared with us that some of the scenes in the video may not be what they appear, and they are investigating this possibility as well. We will be following the progress of this investigation.
Second, while some Hy-Vee stores do carry products from the company that buys from this production facility, the company is not our primary supplier of fresh pork. Hy-Vee and a few other supermarket chains were specifically targeted by the organization that released this undercover video, but in point of fact, almost every supermarket chain in the country carries these major label products. This is not a Hy-Vee issue -- it is an industry issue.
Finally, we do understand that seeing such video images is upsetting to customers; it's upsetting to Hy-Vee as well. But keep in mind that when you look at a few snippets of video released to the public, you're not seeing a complete picture -- you're seeing only what this this organization wants you to see, the way they want you to see it. We don't think it would be prudent or fair for Hy-Vee to jump to conclusions or make snap judgments on the basis of this video without thoroughly looking at the issue and getting all available information and points of view. The video has raised concerns for us, and we're engaged in an ongoing dialogue with the supplier portrayed in the video as well as other suppliers in the industry. Rest assured that we aren't "doing nothing" -- we're asking questions and are going to keep asking questions and probing for information until we are assured that the companies with which we do business treat animals in a manner that is humane and respectful of the animals' role in the production of our food.
Bottom line: Hy-Vee will only do business with suppliers that are committed to the humane treatment of animals. This is an industry-wide issue that affects all producers, not just the facility portrayed in this video. It also affects all supermarkets, and ultimately all consumers who buy meat products. We share our customers' concerns about animal welfare and will continue to monitor our suppliers' policies and practices in this important area.