Sustainability Program 2011
Table of Contents
- Activities and Impacts
- Sustainability Goals and Targets
Established in 1937, Johnston’s has always been a part of the Chilliwack and Fraser Valley area and we care deeply about the impact we have on our community and the environment. At Johnston’s, we are committed to developing and embracing sustainable business practices that meet our present needs without compromising the welfare of future generations. We work on developing strategies that enable us to move forward to maintain the long term health of our community while enhancing the values offered to our customers in key areas such as the environment, animal welfare and food safety.
2. Activities and Impacts
The most important part of our sustainability plan is to ensure that livestock is treated in a humane and respectful manner; therefore animal welfare from farm through to plant is a high priority. We are currently developing the Johnston’s Standards and assisting our producers in achieving these standards, which was adopted from the BC Pork Producers Standards. The Johnston’s Standards include raising and handling practices, animal nutrition, animal health, food safety, bio-security, environmental impact and animal welfare. Johnston’s producers follow Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s recommended code of practice for the care and handling of pigs and participate in the annual Canadian Pork Council’s Animal Care Assessment.
All of our producers are located in BC, with the majority within 50 km of the Plant. Johnston’s hogs come from small family farms where they are carefully raised to high standards for specialty markets. There are no uses of hormones or non-therapeutic antibiotics in our hogs.
The Certified Livestock Transport Program was introduced to BC in 2010 and to assist our hog producers in staying current with the required laws and practices, we made it mandatory for them to obtain the CLT certification. The CLT certification sets the guidelines for the safe transport of our hogs ensuring that our producers are following humane handling practices while improving bio-security and reducing injuries and accidents.
Once the animals arrive at Johnston’s, we take great pride in humane handling practices. Animals are kept in appropriate sized pens to avoid over crowding and injuries that may arise. Misters are located in the barn and used to keep the animals cool and calm when it’s hot. In moving forward with our humane handling practices, we are currently working with Thompson Rivers University in developing a humane prod prototype.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) inspectors are on hand at all times to ensure the health and safety of all our animals, including anti-mortem and post-mortem inspections. Each processed hog is thoroughly inspected by the CFIA.
Community and Employees
Johnston’s is proud to say that we have always been “local” before the interest in “local foods” became a popular social movement. Most of our producers are located in the Fraser Valley and with less transportation required, the stress levels on livestock during transportation and greenhouse emissions are both reduced. Studies have shown that less stress on animals produce higher quality products and thus purchasing from our local farmers strengthens our local economy and benefits us all.
Johnston’s has been a part of Chilliwack since 1937 and we have always been involved in our local community. We have developed an excellent reputation for being a great place to work and supporting local events. We are an active 4H supporter and continuously raise funds for various local events, such as Ride to Conquer Cancer, Chilliwack Chicks – Run for the Cure, Salvation Army’s Adopt-a-Family, and the BC Firefighters Burn Fund. We also support our local schools, the Chilliwack hockey team, community softball, youth programs, and make donations to various food banks including Salvation Army, Ruth & Naomi’s and the Quest Food Exchange. Furthermore, we participate annually in the Earth Day clean up, the Flight Fest, Chilliwack Connect and the BC Transplant Society’s Jessie Pratt Memorial Ride.
Johnston’s is a family-owned company and embraces a family-oriented culture that fosters a cohesive work environment and open, respectful communication. An example of our positive culture can be illustrated by our considerate employees fundraising to help fellow employees going through difficult times. Our employees and producers are a part of the Johnston’s family and to show appreciation, we hold various company functions for our employees, producers and their families. We take care of our employees by providing excellent career and advancement opportunities, as well as RRSP contributions and great benefit packages.
Being environmentally conscientious and concerned about reducing our carbon footprint, Johnston’s uses Boxmaster, a company that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council established to promote responsible management of the world’s forests. We effectively utilize their recycled boxes and packaging materials to prevent unnecessary waste.
We continue to implement energy efficient improvements throughout our facility, such as replacing the incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient lighting.
We strategically plan our delivery routes to be environmentally efficient and reduce toxic emissions as much as possible. Our trucks run on bio-diesel with a bio component that eliminates toxic waste to the environment supplied by 4Refuel, the leader in fuel management services in Canada. Our goal is to consistently monitor our fuel and route management and continuously reduce our environmental impact.
We have also made changes to our water treatment system in efforts to be more pro-environment. We switched from a chlorine treatment to a safer ultra violet light treatment process to reduce the amount of chemicals used in our water.
Johnston’s has worked with West Coast Reduction (WCR) for over fifty years to ensure that wastes are properly disposed of for the safety of the environment and community. WCR is recognized as the largest independent renderer in Western Canada and operates in accordance to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), provincial and federal health, safety and environmental standards. West Coast Reduction has an extensive environmental program and is a industry leader in air pollution control. Water quality and environmental conservation are priorities at all of their facilities.
Rendering is an extremely important part of our industry sustainability. Without proper rendering services, 250,000 tonnes of solid waste would end up annually in the landfills leading to diseases, pollution, water contamination, and odours. WCR uses the most current technologies to minimize any sort of negative impact on the environment. Their rendering processes are 100% chemical free and they recycle fat and proteins into consumable products like soap, paint and pet food.
Johnston’s developed its own wastewater pre-treatment system, in accordance to the City of Chilliwack bylaws, to effectively manage the wastewater and enable wastewater to be returned to natural environment without adverse ecological impact. The goal of the wastewater system is to reduce contaminants such as Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), Total Suspended Solids (TSS) and Mineral Oils and Grease (M&G) going into the sewage system.
Food safety has always been a high priority at Johnston’s and extremely critical to our success as the importance of food safety is reflected in our products. At Johnston’s, all employees are required to complete the Food Safe program to understand and follow the important proper food handling techniques. .
Johnston’s works very closely with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) inspectors located at our facility. The CFIA inspectors verify that all our quality meat products pass government standards to be safely consumed by BC families.
Employee Health And Safety
Johnston’s has a very active Health and Safety committee to deal with the potentially dangerous equipment and tools often used in the meat processing industry. Our Health and Safety Committee, comprised of members from every department, all work together to create a safe work environment and endeavour to eliminate injuries and accidents. As well, all employees are required to complete Johnston’s orientation where the importance of safety, efficiency and team work are emphasized. As a result of these efforts, we have continually lowered both injuries as well as time loss due to injuries. A safe work place is a productive work place.
3. Sustainability Goals and Targets
| Animal Welfare
- Working with farmers to use sustainable practices such as nutrition, bio-security, environmental impact and animal welfare
- Humane handling of livestock from farm to plant
- Purchasing livestock from local farmers raised naturally, hormone free
- CFIA Vet and inspectors on hand at all times
- Further develop Johnston’s Standards, a clear standard of care for all animals that are raised to be delivered to Johnston’s
- Continue working with farmers on sustainability.
- Continuously educate employees about animal care and handling
- Remain focused on being local
| Waste Management
- Proper disposal of animal bi-products
- Waste water treatment
- Having the lowest possible amount of waste sent to landfill
- Reduce solid waste through source reduction, reuse and expanded recycling
- Efficient use of electricity from coolers to energy efficient light bulbs
- Efficient use of consumables such as boxes, gloves etc.
- Used cardboard boxes recycled
- Strategically planning routes
- Using Bio diesel
- Regular truck maintenance
- Recycling paper, ink cartridges other office supplies, electronics
- We have eliminated unnecessary use of paper; e.g. changing from 3 copy invoices to 2 copy
- Monitor and decrease usage of water
- Efficient usage of packaging including proper size boxes for product
- Lower electricity usage
- Monitor and lower Green House Gas Emissions
- Use paper that contains post consumer recycled content
- Safe work environment from guidelines set by Safety committee
- Established positive culture
- Motivating & engaging workplace
- Set goals of lowering injuries each year and working towards zero injuries
- Work towards accident free workplace
- Increase engagement and participation in safety processes; create new training programs
| Food Safety
- Food Safe Program
- CFIA Inspectors
- Continue to deliver safe, high quality meat products
As the world moves forward, we must continue to find ways to manage our resources without adversely affecting the environment. While some goals are simple and quick to attain, such as using recycled boxes, other goals will need to be achieved over the years, such as reducing green house gases. It will take insight and continual planning to achieve these long-term goals.
Johnston’s is committed to accomplishing all our set goals while continuously assessing other potential sustainability goals to produce the quality products that our customers expect from us. We are driven to inform our customers and consumers of our sustainable practices as increasing numbers want to know where their food comes from and how the animals are handled. They are demanding to know how Johnston’s products are fresh, local and high in quality.
Johnston’s will continue to find ways to minimize the impact we have on our ecosystems. We are committed to staying local and limiting the distances our animals have to travel to get from the farms to our plant. Johnston’s will continue to work with our producers to maintain our quality hogs. We will research methods to cut the environmentally damaging costs in every aspect of Johnston’s operations, from hog transportation all the way to food delivered onto BC families’ tables. A sustainable future is important to everyone and Johnston’s is committed to ensuring that our resources will be available for generations to come.