Wendy’s calls for progress reports on stall-free pork

Wendy’s in 2011 opened this new “ultra-modern” concept restaurant at Etobicoke, Ont., as one of four test sites for the North American market. (CNW Group/Wendy’s International)

Canadian and U.S. pork suppliers feeding the Wendy’s restaurant chain now must file quarterly progress reports on how much of their pork is produced without the use of gestation stalls.

The Ohio-based burger chain, which includes about 370 Canadian outlets among about 6,600 worldwide, announced in 2007 it would give preferential buying to pork suppliers who adopt “an ongoing plan to phase out single-sow gestation stalls.”

Gestation stalls are individual housing crates used by some hog breeding operations for sows during pregnancy, meant to reduce the risk of aggressive behaviours seen between pregnant sows in group housing, and to allow for more precise individual feeding of sows.

Like many companies in the quick-service restaurant business, however, “we believe that confining pigs in gestation stalls is not sustainable over the long term, and moving away from this practice is the right thing to do,” Wendy’s has said on its website.

The company recently said it has met on “multiple occasions” in the past year with pork industry representatives and outside experts to “continue work towards our stated goal of sourcing only from gestation stall-free pork suppliers.”

To that end, the company has now announced it will require “every raw material and finished product supplier to submit quarterly progress reports that reflect the percentage of stall-free pork supplied to Wendy’s.”

Wendy’s also noted that “as a result of recent announcements by two suppliers who currently make up the majority of (its pork supply), we are confident we will continue to make progress towards our goal of eliminating the use of sow gestation stalls in our supply chain by the end of 2022.”

While Wendy’s does not own, raise, transport or process livestock for its products, the company has said “we believe it is our responsibility to expect all of our suppliers to exceed government regulations by meeting Wendy’s more exacting standards pertaining to the humane treatment of animals.” — AGCanada.com Network

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