H.J. Heinz Co., maker of Weight Watchers frozen meals, and foods distributed under the T.G.I. Friday’s and Classico brands, has joined the parade of companies saying they’ll only source pork from producers who commit to ending the use of gestation crates, according to the Humane Society of the United States, which announced the development on its website.
HSUS has made ending the use of gestation crates a major initiative for the organization, which focuses on legislative and commercial strategies for its animal handling agenda.
Pittsburgh-based Heinz is only the latest organization to make the gestation crate pledge, despite projections of increased costs for pork producers having to retrofit their farms.
The Heinz announcement by HSUS did not include a timeframe by which the company would ensure that its pork was gestation crate-free.
Many other companies have set 2017 as a target year for phasing out suppliers that have not at least made it a goal to phase out gestation crates.
“[Heinz] is currently working with its pork suppliers to understand and document their plans to reduce or end the use of crates,” HSUS quotes Heinz as saying in a letter to the organization.
“This information will be used to inform the company's choice of suppliers now and in the future, in an effort to increase the company's use of pork from crate-free sources and, over time, eliminate gestation crates from our supply chain.”
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