The US leads the world in production of broiler (meat) chickens, raising and slaughtering almost 9 billion birds annually. Americans’ consumption of chicken meat rose by 188% between 1970 and 2005, faster than pork or beef. Within the US, Georgia is the largest producer of broilers, bringing to market 1.4 billion chickens annually. If Georgia were a country, it would be the sixth largest producing country in the world, just behind China and Brazil. In Georgia there are 24 chickens for every person.
With this dramatic rise in poultry consumption has come an industrial production model, one appropriately termed “factory farming.” The rapid and now thorough industrialization of Georgia’s poultry farms imposes great costs not reflected in the price consumers pay; costs to animal welfare, human and environmental health, and workers’ rights. While these costs are often invisible to consumers, it is important that they be brought to light.
To that end, Georgians for Pastured Poultry was formed.
Its purpose is to inform consumers, whom we like to call “food citizens,” as well as businesses and government about the true costs of the factory farming of meat chickens, and about the need to support and develop fairer, more humane and sustainable alternatives.
The opposite of the factory farm model, and the one we support, is chickens raised on pasture.
We consist of:
Our mission is to:
- Increase the number of food citizens eating pasture raised chicken
- Ensure ‘food choice’ in the market by increasing the presence of pasture raised chicken
- Increase the numbers of farmers raising pasture raised chicken while developing and supporting the economic viability of that product in the marketplace
We support farmers who want to provide a fairer, more humane and more sustainable system. We believe that farmers and consumers alike should have more choices than the industrial model provides.
Our vision is for Georgia to become the leading state in the production and consumption of pasture raised poultry, where animal welfare, human and environmental health, and farmer and worker well being are as important as economics in the farming of chickens.
We thank Whole Foods Market® South Region for its contributions as a special advisor to our group.