Smithfield Foods Inc. expanded to the Romanian market last year by purchasing an intensive pig breeding farm and one of the country's biggest refrigerating storage companies. Smithfield is currently conducting advanced negotiations over the purchase of additional farms and meat processing plants in Romania.
In response, AWI recently organized an international conference on the impact of industrial agriculture on food, the environment and animal welfare. The event was held last February in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, with the support of a local university and the Romanian Alliance for Animal Protection.
The Institute believed it was necessary to inform Romanians of industrial agriculture's implications, and this meeting was a natural solution. Through the participation of both foreign and local participants, all facets of industrial farming and its impacts on the land, people and animals were depicted during the two-day conference.
During the discussions, Romanian farmers had the opportunity to ask farmers from the United States and Great Britain questions on how their problems can be solved. Academic staff from the university and politically involved participants also found out how they can fight to defend Romanian agriculture.
Meaningful sessions conducted by a diverse list of speakers brought the truths behind industrial agriculture to light. AWI is confident that many Romanians are now aware of the atrocious reality of this business.