Dear HyVee, What Is Your Responsibility?

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Dear HyVee,

It pains me to write this letter. You are my “go to” grocery store. I really like your store, I buy groceries from you and I love that your roots are in the Midwest. But, lately, I have noticed that you are falling into the “marketing fear” that all us farmers dread. Today, while perusing through my newsfeed, I noticed this sponsored ad:

Yes, you are promoting larger chickens with no antibiotics – ever. As a farmer, I would love nothing better than to never use antibiotics on our farm. But if our pigs are sick, we have an obligation to help them. It’s our responsibility. Over the years, we have made huge strides in preventing illnesses, but sometimes, it’s just not enough. If antibiotics are needed, we work closely with a veterinarian and a prescription is given if needed. We also comply with the withdrawal periods to ensure no animal leaves our farm with antibiotic residue. I also know raising chickens is different than raising pigs. So kudos to those that can raise their chickens with no antibiotics ever. But here is my concern. I read through the comments and realized there were a couple comments that needed responding. Here is the first one:

This is a widely-known consumer perception that chickens are given hormones and that is what makes them larger. I talk about this common myth repeatedly. The fact remains–it is illegal to give chickens hormones. 

Here is the next one:

Another perfect example of misinformation consumers have. This person thought the reason the chickens were larger was because of GMOs. Seriously? I did proceed to correct the statement and say that GMOs has nothing to do with the chicken being larger.

So my question is, what responsibility do you have as a food company to respond to these comments? If you are going to promote using these marketing tactics, I feel you have the responsibility and moral obligation to reach out and respond to these questions and comments.

Now, I don’t have a problem responding to these comments. But with less than 2% of us directly involved in raising and growing food, we can’t do it alone. I would like to see you elevate your social media presence and monitor these comments and help correct the misinformation that has been perpetuated by current marketing tactics. We are all in this together. 

Thank you.

A Concerned Farmer from Minnesota


5 Comments on Dear HyVee, What Is Your Responsibility?

  1. avatar
    E Liepa says:
    May 22, 2019

    Are they feeding their chickens (meat products) GMO corn and soybeans in their feed though? I think that is what I would want to know…

    • avatar
      May 22, 2019

      HyVee doesn’t raise their own chickens or other meat. They purchase from other food companies. And more than likely they are fed GMO corn, which is not an issue.

  2. avatar
    Rough Rider says:
    May 23, 2019

    IMHO, the size of the chicken is dependent on the breed of chicken and how old it is when it is slaughtered. 🙂

  3. avatar
    Rick VanVranken says:
    July 1, 2019

    Well said and great response/request of HyVee! If they’re going to market to the mistaken values, they should at least help correct the misinformation and lack of understanding about how food gets through their stores and on to their shoppers’ plates.

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