Dr. Larry Sadler, Associate Director of Animal Welfare at Kraft Heinz, spoke with The National Provisioner editor-in-chief Andy Hanacek about the evolution of animal welfare at Kraft Heinz and how partnering with outside program like the one at The Ohio State University improved the state of animal welfare for the entire industry.

Andy Hanacek: Thanks, Larry, for having me out here at the [Ohio State University] swine facility for this story. I appreciate it. I did want to take a minute to ask a couple questions. I wanted to really start with the evolution of animal welfare at Kraft Heinz. Give me your perspective on how that has evolved over time.

Larry Sadler: It’s really an interesting story. It was more of an organic process with research and development. The individuals in Research and Development [were] really passionate about it and starting up an animal welfare team in 2010. Then [they took] that passion and it’s progressing on. I started with the company two years ago as an animal welfare specialist who was specializing in it and really trying to help move it that next step forward. Throughout the company there is a lot of passion for it, and with that, there are people thinking of ideas and trying to move it forward. And that’s really where it started with the passion within the company.

Hanacek: So this partnership you have embarked upon, we’ve covered it before, and it has continued and produced some great things. Talk about how that plays into the passion and animal welfare passion the company has overall.

Sadler: With that the idea was just how can they influence animal welfare in the industry. Not necessarily focused on Kraft Heinz, but wanting to do the right thing and wanting to improve animal welfare and make it better. With that, the idea came up of supporting these external programs, and being a little hands off on it, but being that catalyst or flow of money into those programs so they can do what they need to improve animal welfare for the entire industry.

Hanacek: So you said you started just a couple years ago. You’ve had some time to lay into your role a little bit. What are your goals and hopes moving forward? What are your hoping to do other than just make animal welfare better? What are some of the things you are focused on?

Sadler: We do assess further along what is the right approach for our company, so I think the general idea is still what can we do for animal welfare, and that may be programs like this. It may be things specific in the company, so it is a broad spectrum, but we are constantly assessing what is the best way [to improve animal welfare].

Be sure to check out all the coverage of our November cover story here.