A grassroots movement is afoot among those who support U.S. agriculture. More specifically, social media is sending out the word far and wide to support Domino’s Pizza this weekend, May 18-20, by ordering a pie—or several. It's being called Ag Pizza Party.
It would be a great option for a staff lunch, a gathering with friends and neighbors or a weekend dinner with your family. Missouri pork producer and agvocate Chris Chinn presented the idea last week in a blog post she wrote for Just Farmers. The blog The Truth About Agriculture started a Facebook Group, Farmers Paying it Forward with Pizza where you can go to show your support for the idea.
The organizers are also asking those who participate to drop off a "thank you" note when you pick up your order. You can print out a sample to use here.
The point behind the effort is for the farming community, its friends and advocates to show support for the Domino’s Pizza shareholders who rejected a resolution proposed by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to require its pork suppliers to only buy pork from producers not using gestation-sow stalls. The vote wasn’t even close, with 80 percent of shareholders voting against the measure. In all, 4 percent supported the measure—by the way, HSUS is a Domino’s shareholder—and 16 percent abstained from the vote.
Its proxy statement Domino’s Board of Directors pointed out that the company’s pork suppliers use animals from farms “that use a variety of animal management systems, including from farms that do not use gestation stalls.” It also cited the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) published statements indicating there are advantages and disadvantages to both cage-free and caged pork production methods.
“We rely on animal experts to determine what is the best way to raise an animal that’s being used for food,” Tim McIntyre, Domino's spokesperson, responded following the vote.
According to Chinn, “Domino’s decision speaks volumes to me as a farmer. It shows they trust the experts I trust. It shows they trust me. I appreciate that.”
Chinn points out that she had to drive 45 minutes to pick up her pizzas, but said it’s more than worth the effort and she hopes others will seek out the restaurant this weekend and have an Ag Pizza Party.