Tim Hortons moves on sow stalls, layer hen housing

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Canada?s iconic Tim Hortons chain has given its pork suppliers until the end of this year to have ?clear plans? in place to phase out sow gestation stalls.

The Oakville, Ont.-based quick-service restaurant firm said it also set a target of purchasing at least 10 per cent of its eggs from producers using ?enriched hen housing systems? by the end of next year.

Tim Hortons said Friday it now ?intends to give preferred sourcing to pork suppliers who have clearly documented plans to phase out the use of gestation stalls, and egg suppliers working to phase in enriched hen housing systems.?

?We believe there are better, more humane and sustainable housing systems that can improve the quality of animals? lives,? Timmy?s CEO Paul House said in a release.

?Striking a balanced, realistic solution for the farming community, which will need to make significant investments in new buildings, is also essential, and we fully recognize this will take time.?

The 10 per cent pledge on eggs alone ?represents significantly more than 10 million eggs,? the company said.

Past that, the company said, ?we plan to actively evaluate the industry?s capacity to provide eggs from enriched housing systems, and to progressively increase our commitment beyond 2013 as additional supply becomes available.?

Tim Hortons said it plans to ?share next steps in early 2013, after reviewing industry plans and having further dialogue with the egg and pork industries and other animal welfare stakeholders.?

Later this year, the company said, ?we will commission scientific, fact-based animal welfare research with leading academic institutions on sustainable, humane animal housing systems.?

The company said it also plans to call for a ?North American-wide summit? of restaurant companies interested in the treatment of animals in the industry?s supply chain.

More at http://agcanada.com/daily/tim-hortons-moves-on-sow-stalls-layer-hen-housing/
 

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Safeway to aim for ?stall-free? pork supply

The Safeway grocery store chain, one of North America?s biggest by sales, says it will start "formulating plans" to cut out the use of gestation stalls for breeding sows in its pork supply chains.

The California company, which as of Dec. 31, 2011 includes 225 stores in Western Canada and Ontario, said in a release Thursday that it has already "substantially increased the quantity of pork it buys from producers that have made commitments to decreasing gestation stalls in their breeding facilities."

However, "it is Safeway?s goal to have a gestation stall-free supply chain," Brian Dowling, the company?s vice-president of public affairs, said Monday. "With that in mind, the company is formulating plans to determine how it can reach that goal."

The company, whose U.S. holdings include 1,453 stores in 21 states and the District of Columbia, said it has been "working to address the issue" of gestation stalls, which "have been criticized in recent years due to animal welfare concerns."

Dowling added that Safeway "supports the efforts of our suppliers who have committed to reductions in their use of gestation stalls" noting "several major pork producers" have made moves to curb their use of such stalls in recent years.

Safeway also noted moves by McDonald?s, Burger King, Wendy?s and foodservice firm Compass Group toward gestation stall-free supply chains. Canadian quick-service giant Tim Hortons on Friday gave its pork suppliers until the end of this year to have phase-out plans in place.

The intent of penning breeding sows in individual gestation stalls is to ensure the sow gets its full ration of feed and water and is better able to maintain pregnancy, by cutting out competition for feed and other aggressive behaviours between hogs.

Breeding sows kept in such stalls can stand or lie down and move slightly forward and backward, but are unable to turn around or roam, a fact that has made the stalls unpopular with some producers and with some animal welfare groups.

"Given the scope and quantity of pork products sold by Safeway, this announcement is an important step in addressing animal welfare in the company?s supply chain," Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, said in Safeway?s release Monday.

"Engagement"

Following the Tim Hortons announcement on Friday, the Canadian Pork Council noted in a release that Canada?s hog farmers are already "taking an active role in animal welfare on their farms and collectively as an industry" through a national Animal Care Assessment program.

A review of the existing code of practice for pigs is the "current focus" of the Canadian industry, the CPC said. "A revised code will update guidelines for pig care on housing, health, nutrition and other animal husbandry practices through a multi-stakeholder process."

More at http://agcanada.com/daily/safeway-to-aim-for-stall-free-pork-supply/
 
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