My Perdue Farms Experience
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Perdue Farms is a 99-year-old, family owned company and one of the largest producers of premium proteins. While I’ve been using Perdue chicken in my kitchen for years, I knew very little about the company. That was until I had the opportunity to visit Salisbury, Maryland—the home of Perdue Farms—to learn all about the company.
This post will cover my trip and share all the things I learned about Perdue’s product lines, farming practices, research and innovation, and commitment to animal welfare and sustainability.
Disclaimer: I’m an ambassador for Perdue Farms and all expenses for my trip to Salisbury were covered by Perdue Farms.
My Biggest Takeaways from the Perdue Farms Experience
I’ll cover everything I learned from my experience below. But first, I’d like to run through how my partnership with Perdue Farms will affect my content.
- I expect you’ll see future recipes use both Perdue branded raw chicken products as well as their fully cooked products like lightly breaded chicken chunks, apple chicken sausage, or grilled chicken strips. This is good news for the minimal cooks out there!
- As you’ll read in a second, Perdue Farms has acquired other high quality protein providers to expand into beef and pork. You know I love m’red meat. So hopefully we can all get our hands on that soon!
And to be honest, things won’t really change at all. Like I mentioned, I’ve been using their products for years. I just didn’t realize how quality the product was. Now I can provide the same content but with more information and knowledge behind it.
Update: Check out my new Buffalo Chicken Pasta recipe that uses Perdue Lightly Breaded Chicken Breast Chunks!
- Perdue raises 98% of its animals with small family farmers across the US. We had the chance to meet several farming families during a dinner at Jim Perdue’s home.
- They are the largest producer of organic chicken in the US.
- A large portion of generic grocery store and fast casual restaurant chicken is produced by Perdue Farms.
- Thanks to advancements in water delivery systems and the fact chickens don’t urinate, chicken houses don’t stink. At least not more than any other house with 30,000 animals in it.
- One interesting takeaway was that they used to remove the litter after each flock but found leaving it created a naturally healthier environment for the next flock.
- Perdue publicly publishes third party audits of their animal care practices.
- They hold annual Animal Care Summits with a diverse group of animal welfare advocates and experts.
- Their chicken feed is all-vegetarian and free of animal by-products. I challenged Chris Perdue (pictured below) to eat the chicken feed in his hand. He did. I passed on the bite he offered me.
- Windows are now required in Perdue chicken houses, and they’re covering the costs for conversion on farms without windows.
- 25% of their chicken houses have doors for free ranging, and their goal is to have doors in 100% of houses by 2020.
Read more about Perdue’s Animal Care Practices.
Research and Innovation
- Research is a big point of emphasis. Two of the biggest research areas are animal feed and well being. Below you’ll see an enhancement that promotes more active, healthier chickens.
- During our tour, we learned about challenges between the independent farmers to develop enhancements that chickens liked the most and ways to encourage chickens to go outside more. Surprisingly, chickens like to stay indoors where it’s safe from predators.
- Perdue also has a dedicated innovation center for new product development and testing. We got to dirty up their kitchen, learn a few things from the chefs, and do a bit of sensory testing for chicken nuggets and tenders.
- Most recently, Perdue developed a blended plant protein and chicken product with a 1/4 cup of veggies in every serving. Maybe now I can get more veggies in the picky eater in my house!
Perdue Farms is More Than Just Chicken
- They’ve acquired companies like Coleman Natural, Niman Ranch, and Panorama Meats to expand their offerings to high quality proteins like beef, pork, and more. Here’s a look at all of the Perdue Farms Premium Proteins.
- If you’re familiar with Anheuser-Busch, they’re quite choosy with branded products, speaking volumes to the quality of Coleman Natural proteins. (Budweiser brats pictured above.)
- Spot Farms and Full Moon produce premium pet treats with no fillers or animal by-products. Unlike the chicken feed, I did eat some of these.
Perdue Farms is Committed to Sustainability, Giving Back, and Employee Welfare
- 73,000 tons of carbon emissions – that’s how much Perdue Farms saves annually by burning methane from lagoons and solar to fuel operations.
- Perdue fosters bee and pollen environments under their solar panels. And they’re making efforts to further improve in these areas.
- 100% – the percentage of associates eligible for company health benefits and 401k match programs
- They were named on the “Best Employers for Diversity” by Forbes in 2019.
- Perdue provided 6 million meals to disaster victims in 2018 alone. They also provided over 1.5 million dollars in grants to non-profit organizations.
Read more about Perdue Farms’ Environmental Stewardship.
With a degree in food science and a childhood in farming country, I thought I knew a lot about agriculture. I was wrong.
My experience was very educational, but I’m nowhere near an expert on the topic. If you have questions about Perdue Farms or anything related to the farming process, I’m happy to help track down the answers.
Overall, I’m excited for this partnership and opportunity to be an ambassador for a quality company. I’ve never been more at peace with being associated with a company (especially in what can be a controversial space like agriculture) than I am with Perdue. This should create new opportunities for great recipes and content at no cost to you!