The past few weeks have not been good news for the makers of pork gestation crates as major fast-food chains and food suppliers have committed to sourcing pork from facilities that don't use the crate-based systems. The latest company to make the move is Denny's the restaurant chain, which says it will work with suppliers to source bacon, sausage and other products only from suppliers that use crate-free systems.
In a release touting the move, the Humane Society of the United States says it worked with the restauranteur to "address animal welfare issues for more than five years, and the restaurant giant's pledge on gestation crates is just the latest positive action taken by the company."
In a statement from Denny's included in the HSUS announcement, Greg Linford, Denny's vice president, procurement and distribution says: "Denny's takes its role as a responsible corporate citizen seriously, which is why we have adopted a strong position on animal welfare. We will endeavor to purchase products from companies that provide gestation crate-free pork and are committed to influencing our suppliers to share in a gestation crate-free vision for the future. Working to eliminate gestation crates is best for our company, our guests and our continued work to improve animal welfare."
In its release, HSUS also outlined the following points:
- Denny's is one of the largest restaurant chains in the country, operating more than 1,650 locations across the United States. In 2008, the company began switching millions of eggs to cage-free eggs.
- McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy's recently announced they will require supplies to deliver plans for eliminating gestation crates. Compass Group, which operates 10,000 dining facilities, also recently announced it will eliminate gestation crates from its supply chain by 2017. And Bon Appetit Management Company, another food service provider, has committed to be gestation crate-free within three years.
- Pork providers Smithfield and Hormel have pledge to end the use of gestation crates at their company-owned facilities by 2017, and Cargill is already 50% crate-free.