Environmental Stewardship

Since our founding as a small family farm in 1939, Foster Farms has remained dedicated to our land, people and surrounding communities.

While producing our always natural, always fresh, locally grown poultry, we are mindful of the ways that we can help to improve the environment. We take our role as environmental stewards very seriously, and are proud of our accomplishments to date. At the same time we realize that there is no finish line when it comes to making environmental strides. Foster Farms continues to develop and implement innovative, eco-friendly solutions for our business, to ensure the safety and integrity of the local environments in which we operate.

Foster Farms encourages a strong sense of responsibility for the environment among all company employees through our company-wide environmental policy. At each stage of our operations, from poultry ranches to processing, packaging, shipping, distribution and corporate offices, we have implemented environmental initiatives that promote recycling and reuse, increase energy efficiency, reduce and eliminate waste, and improve air quality, while protecting our precious natural resources.

As part of this policy, environmental management systems are in place at each company facility to assure adherence and measure improvement. Foster Farms' environmental specialists regularly evaluate facility operations to assure compliance with set environmental objectives, which often exceed industry standards and government mandates.

As a testament to our commitment:

  • In 2010, Foster Farms will complete a water recycling project at the company's Livingston Complex to reduce facility water usage by 500,000 to 1,000,000 gallons per day.
  • In 2009, Foster Farms was named a winner of the prestigious Waste Reduction Awards Program (WRAP) award for its innovative, environmentally-friendly solid waste recycling programs and policies. The WRAP Awards are an annual program established in 1993 by the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB), part of the California Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to recognize California businesses that have made outstanding efforts to reduce waste and send less garbage to state landfills.
  • Ongoing efforts include a biodiesel initiative for delivery trucks aiming to increase use of environmentally-friendly, cleaner burning fuel sources, while reducing dependency on foreign oil.
  • In 2005, Foster Farms won California's highest environmental honor, the Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award for an innovative, successful organic waste disposal program which generates electricity for nearby communities.
  • The company is a proud recipient of the POWER Award from Public Officials for Water and Environmental Reform.
  • Foster Farms' solid waste recycling efforts in 2004 (which were evaluated in 2006) almost single-handedly allowed Merced County to achieve its goal of diverting solid waste tonnage from landfills.
  • As part of our goal to continually improve our management practices, reduce pollutants, and comply with environmental policy, Foster Farms initiated a pollution prevention audit in 2007 (in coordination with third party experts) to evaluate how we can continue to make strides in our environmentally-conscious operations efforts.

Environmental Practices on the Ranch

Our eco-friendly farming practices on the ranch promote animal welfare and bio-security, while supporting local communities and environments. Our chickens and turkeys are grown in large poultry barns designed to protect the birds from environmental extremes, while allowing fresh air to constantly circulate. The interior temperature and climate is controlled, and clean water and feed are available at all times. Our barns are built with enough space for the birds to move about freely. The floors are covered with natural, absorbent bedding materials such as rice hulls and wood shavings. All of Foster Farms used bedding is recycled for either compost or organic fertilizer. Keeping our poultry comfortable and well treated is a priority for Foster Farms and ensures excellent health and development.

We manage ranches in an environmentally-conscious manner. We recycle materials whenever possible, use environmentally-friendly products and cleansers, and are incorporating sustainable composting practices. Storm water is maintained on each ranch to minimize offsite flow and reduce the potential for pollution. Our poultry shelters are strictly managed to minimize moisture levels thereby minimizing natural emissions, which also helps to assure superior bird health.

Locally Grown Tradition

Foster Farms is a regional, West Coast brand, committed to fresh chicken and turkey products that are locally grown by region. In fact, there are Foster Farms poultry farms and ranches throughout the West Coast to assure that fresh chicken sold in any West Coast region is grown and packaged in that same region. This Foster Farms tradition naturally promotes sustainability, as local foods help to support local agricultural communities. Food that is produced locally requires less distance to travel and has less of an impact on the environment.

Even more, because our fresh poultry is always locally grown and always fresh, there is no need for our products to contain added preservatives or sodium.

Community Partnership

We are proud of our efforts to contribute to and improve social and economic equity in the communities we work and reside in. Our spirit of giving is a long-standing Foster Family tradition.

  • Foster Farms was honored in 2007 by Goodwill Industries’ Tacoma, Washington Chapter as “Large Employer of the Year” for our partnership in providing training and career opportunities to Goodwill clients in the greater Tacoma area.
  • Inspired by the Foster family's generosity, California employees established "Christmas Kids," a group that annually provides gifts and food baskets for local area families during the holidays. This group has expanded to provide assistance to Seniors' groups, and children’s groups year-round.
  • Every Foster Farms facility is devoted to local community outreach. Our Kelso, Washingtonoffice runs programs specifically for the Pacific Northwest. Our team in Demopolis, Alabamais involved in local community outreach. And the Livingston Corporate office oversees ourCalifornia efforts, concentrated on Merced and Stanislaus Counties where the majority of Foster Farms' employees live and work.
  • Foster Farms also has a donation-matching program with employees for contributions to theUnited Way in addition to unique situations such as the 2004 tsunami crisis, Hurricane Katrina, and more.
  • Foster Farms actively supports furthering education and provides annual scholarships to qualified students at Fresno State, Cal Poly SLO, UC Davis, Stanislaus State and ModestoJunior College. Additionally, thirty $1000 scholarships are awarded to children of Foster Farms employees each year.

As part of our community involvement, Foster Farms employees serve on numerous local boards including the California Education Partnering Coalition, CSU, Stanislaus Alumni Association, Stanislaus County Partners in Education, Emmanuel Medical Center Foundation, and the Turlock Chamber of Commerce. Foster Farms has longstanding philanthropic relationships with the Salvation Army, Goodwill, American Red Cross, Second Harvest, and other local non-profit organizations.

Employee Wellbeing

We are incredibly proud of and dedicated to our employees, many of whom have worked at Foster Farms for decades. Each quarter, we celebrate employee anniversaries and it is not unusual to recognize individuals with 30-plus year careers within our company. Our employees enjoy some of the highest wages in the poultry industry and have access to one of the most attractive benefits packages in the industry.

We value personal growth and offer continuing education classes and programs to our employees on a regular basis. We partner with local schools to conduct ESL programs, award college scholarships to employees and their family members. We actively promote employees from within; many of our current supervisors and managers started out with us on the production line.

We strive to cultivate a nurturing working environment for all Foster Farms employees. We provide a safe and comfortable working environment. Additionally, out of all U.S. poultry companies, Foster Farms ranks within the top two percent for safety. Foster Farms’ Livingston, Calif., poultry processing plant has been selected from 150 poultry processing plants throughout the nation by the U.S. Department of Labor and OSHA to serve as the model processing plant for other U.S. poultry producers.

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