Farmers want clean water and a healthy environment for their families as much as anyone. Unfortunately, our food system is dominated by big corporations—especially in the area of poultry farming. Big poultry companies take advantage of loopholes that maximize their profits while shifting the burden of responsibility for their pollution to us, the taxpayers. Because of these loopholes, agriculture pollution is the leading source of pollution entering the Chesapeake Bay.
According to the Chesapeake Bay Program, agricultural sources account for 44% of all nitrogen and 57% of all phosphorus entering the Bay. Large agricultural corporations must take responsibility for their pollution – just as other industries are required to do with other sources of pollution.
Astoundingly, big poultry companies bear no responsibility for much of the pollution they create. They game the system by contracting with Maryland farmers to grow millions of birds every year, but then burden these farmers with the hundreds of thousands of tons of excess manure generated by the birds.
Fair Farms believes we need to fix this unfair and unsustainable system by requiring big chicken companies to take responsibility for their own waste product – just as other industries are required to do. Maryland will have cleaner waters and healthier communities and we’ll all enjoy a more bountiful Chesapeake Bay when big chicken companies are required to find solutions to their manure problem.