Bon Appétit … sets the bar for animal welfare for major food service providers in the United States.
—Mark Bittman, New York Times
[Bon Appétit] is demonstrating that being socially responsible is not
a bromide or a slogan,
but an operational principle.
—Wayne Pacelle, President of The Humane Society, HSUS blog
Bon Appétit has long led the industry in its support of humane animal-welfare practices. We also offer vegetarian and/or vegan options every day at every location.
100% ground beef from humanely raised cattle
Effective September 1, 2012, all ground beef served in Bon Appétit cafés must come from suppliers that have met the strict standards of one of the four independent animal-welfare organizations listed below. (Beef purchases from small, local producers who are registered through the company’s Farm to Fork program will continue to be accepted.) Read more about the announcement here.
100% pork raised without gestation crates by 2015
ALL pork we serve — currently 3 million pounds annually — must be produced without the cruel practice of gestation crate confinement systems, using higher-welfare group housing systems instead, by 2015. (See announcement.)
100% cage-free eggs, shell and pre-cracked, by 2015
We are also transitioning ALL of our pre-cracked (liquid) eggs — currently 11 million eggs annually — to hens living in cage-free farms. Our shell eggs have been certified cage-fee since 2005.25% or more from the most humane producers by 2015
Bon Appétit will continue to work with America's most responsible meat and poultry producers to pursue Animal Welfare Approved, Food Alliance, Humane Farm Animal Care or Global Animal Partnership certification of their animal welfare practices.These four programs have standards that not only prohibit such cruel practices as gestation crates and battery cages, but also require animals to be allowed to engage in their natural behaviors. We have committed that by 2015, 25 percent or more of our total meat, poultry and egg purchases companywide will be sourced from producers that meet at least one of these four certifications.
100% humanely raised ground beef as of 2012
As of August 2012, we made it a companywide requirement that all our ground beef and hamburgers must come from sources with one of the above four third-party animal welfare certifications, or from one of our registered Farm to Fork partners.
No foie gras or veal* as of 2012
In February 2012 we announced that we would no longer serve foie gras (made from the livers of force-fed ducks or geese) or veal from calves confined in crates from its menus, effective immediately. (*Beef from calves raised on a farm whose animal welfare practices are certified by one of Bon Appétit's accepted third parties is allowed.)
Cage-free shell eggs since 2005
We were the first restaurant company to make a national commitment to cage-free eggs. A concerned student at American University brought the issue to our attention in 2005. We learned that most eggs come from hens confined in what are known as “battery cages.” Each hen is typically allotted only 67 square inches of cage space, less than a standard sheet of paper, on which to live their entire lives. In 2005 we enacted a policy stating that all of our shell eggs would be cage-free. We worked with the experts at the Humane Society of the United States to create a trustworthy program and decided that third party certification was important. In order to qualify for the Certified Humane label, an egg farm must meet the animal welfare standards of an independent auditing organization called Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC). Battery cages are not permitted and the housing facilities must include areas for hens to nest, dust bathe, scratch, and perch.
Fighting antibiotics in our meat supply since 2005
Our turkey and chicken are raised without antibiotics as a routine feed additive, and our hamburgers are made from natural beef (never given atnibiotics or hormones). We have made this commitment on the basis of concern for public health as human resistance to antibiotics grows, but fighting the routine use of antibiotics will also eliminate one of the key tools on which crowded, inhumane factory farms depend.
rBGH-free milk since 2003
We serve only milk and yogurt from cows not treated with artificial bovine growth hormones known as rBGH or rBST. This issue of artificial hormones is complex and controversial, with possible repercussions for human health and definite effects on bovine health. rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) is a genetically engineered hormone that is injected into dairy cows to artificially increase their milk production. It has been shown to increase rates of mastitis, lameness, and disease in cows, and it has been banned in most other industrialized nations of the world.