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OSI Group LLC announced it has taken steps to advance industry best practices and education in animal welfare by becoming an ongoing sponsor of the Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization (PAACO) this year. The company has also committed to an annual sponsorship of the American Meat Institute Foundation (AMIF) Animal Care & Handling Conference beginning this October. Additionally, OSI’s new membership in the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW) extends the company’s efforts to connect on animal welfare issues in a related industry. All three organizations are highly respected within the food industry, and by partnering with them, OSI is able to further demonstrate its significant commitment to animal welfare education and improvement.
PAACO’s ission is to promote the humane treatment of animals through education and certification of animal auditors, as well as the review and certification of animal audit instruments, assessments, and programs. Each year OSI will be a sponsor of one of the two Meat Plant Auditor Training events that occur. Additionally, OSI will sponsor one of the two annual Poultry Welfare Auditor Training events held by PAACO.
As part of the PAACO sponsorship, OSI will send one representative to the training on its behalf. The OSI Quality Systems and Food Protection Department can choose an internal candidate for this training—as they did in June for Gregg Coats, QA manager for Amick Farms (an OSI Group company)–or OSI can choose to pass on the registration for this paid training to an employee of one of its raw material vendors that can benefit from the additional education.
OSI has become an ongoing sponsor to the AMIF Animal Care & Handling Conference this year. This annual conference is the leading animal welfare education opportunity for companies in the meat industry, and includes three focused tracks: Management and Policy, Applied Pig Handling, and Applied Cattle Handling. Leading academic experts in the field will offer instruction at a range of levels, from beginner to advanced, and their presentations will be complemented by practical insights from industry experts. The 2013 conference is set for October 16 to 17, 2013, at the Westin Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri.
OSI has also become a Corporate Member to the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin (PDPW). Formed in 1992, PDPW has grown into a network of 1,600 members from 18 states across the country. The PDPW members represent every type and size of dairy operation, and are joined by other businesses associated with the industry. As the largest producer-led organization in the nation, thousands of dairy producers rely on PDPW for continuing education and news that affects them.
OSI has chosen for the first time to become a member of a dairy producer organization in an effort to connect and interact on animal care, handling, and other sustainability challenges that dairy producers face. Through a greater understanding of actions all the way from “farm to fork,” all segments of the food production industry will be able to work together towards continuous improvement.
“It’s rewarding for me to assist in the continuation of a legacy of supporting well- recognized organizations on behalf of OSI Group,” says Jennifer Raspaldo, raw material quality systems manager for OSI. “These annual contributions exhibit OSI’s serious commitment to continuous improvement in animal welfare.”