Phasing Out Gestation Crates for Pork and Battery Cages for Hens

Phasing Out Gestation Crates for Pork and Battery Cages for Hens

A groundbreaking commitment to humane animal treatment

In February 2012 we proudly rolled out the food service industry’s most comprehensive farm animal welfare policy to date, to be implemented in all of our cafés in 31 states.

As part of the new policy, Bon Appétit:

  • Required that the contracted pork we serve — currently 3 million pounds annually — come from sows raised in higher-welfare group housing, without unnecessary reliance on cruel gestation crate confinement systems. (The switch was completed in early 2016. In 2019, we notified our supplier that we require full elimination of the use of gestation crates by the end of 2021 and to encourage them to continue their important research on more humane farrowing environments. We would like to see enriched environments for all pigs as well as tail docking and castration either phased out and performed with pain management by 2026, or sooner if there are breakthroughs on resolving these issues.)
  • Switched our pre-cracked (liquid) eggs — 11 million eggs annually as of 2012 —from hens confined in barren battery cages to hens living in cage-free farms, as we already do for shell eggs, by 2015.* (Completed in early 2016.)
  • Banned foie gras (livers of force-fed ducks) and veal from calves confined in crates from our menus, effective immediately.
  • Ridding our supply chain of gestation crates and battery cages represents our minimum standards — and we also set new, aspirational higher ones. We vowed that by 2015, 25 percent or more of our meat, poultry, and egg purchases companywide should be sourced from producers whose practices meet the animal welfare standards of Animal Welfare Approved, Food Alliance, Humane Farm Animal Care or Global Animal Partnership. These four programs 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. (Update: We achieved this goal in July 2017.)

Read a detailed report card on these goals or watch Chief Strategy and Brand Officer Maisie Ganzler’s TEDxManhattan talk about the behind-the-scenes challenges, “How the Humane Sausage Gets Made.”

Some of the news coverage of our initial announcement:

*Like our shell eggs, liquid eggs are certified as being “cage free” by Animal Welfare Approved, Food Alliance, or Humane Farm Animal Care (GAP does not certify eggs)

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