Dunkin’ Donuts, ConAgra Foods Make Humane Supply Chain Commitments

by | Sep 27, 2012

Dunkin’ Donuts and ConAgra Foods have both pledged to eliminate the use of pork from gestation crates from their supply chain, while Dunkin’ has also announced it will be switching to cage-free eggs in its breakfast sandwiches.

ConAgra, producer of such products as Slim Jim beef jerky and Hebrew National hot dogs, announced that by 2017 it expects all of its suppliers to produce action plans aimed at eliminating gestation crates for sows. Such cages measure about two feet by seven feet – too small for the sows to turn around. The company is also demanding suppliers create systems within their operations that allow the humane origins of their pork to be traceable. ConAgra described the phase-out may as likely being a long-term process that could take “up to 10 years.”

In order to determine a timeline for eliminating gestation crates, Dunkin’ Donuts has announced it will now require its US pork suppliers to outline their plans to achieve this goal. A statement by the company does not detail by what time Dunkin’ aims to achieve this.

Dunkin’ Donuts’ commitment to cage-free eggs begins with the company pledging to acquire 5 percent of its eggs from cage-free sources by the end of 2013. A statement released by the company does not commit Dunkin’ to any further reductions in battery-farmed eggs at this time. The Humane Society of the United States has welcomed the doughnut chain’s move.

The moves follow similar announcements by food industry giants Kraft, Burger King and McDonalds.

In February, McDonalds announced that it was demanding that all of its US pork suppliers supply it with plans to phase out the use of sow gestation stalls by May this year. Two months later, Rival fast-food chain Burger King pledged to transition its US supply chain to 100 percent cage-free eggs by 2017, and only purchase pork from suppliers that can demonstrate documented plans to end their use of gestation crates for breeding pigs.

In July, Kraft Foods said it would eliminate gestation crates from Oscar Mayer’s pork supply chain by 2022. The Humane Society of the United States described the new policy’s phase-in period as “lengthy,” but said that it applauds Kraft Foods’ decision to help improve conditions for its pigs.

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