WASHINGTON, Feb. 22, 2012- Bon Appétit Management Company announced a comprehensive farm animal welfare policy, to applause from The Humane Society of the United States. The food service company operates more than 400 cafés for corporations, universities, museums and specialty venues in 31 states. 

“Bon Appétit has turned ‘very good’ into ‘great,’ setting a new high water mark in the food-service sector,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “Consumers are deeply concerned about animal welfare, and Bon Appétit is responding.”

As part of the new policy, Bon Appétit is phasing in the following reforms:

  • Requiring that all pork it serves — currently 3 million pounds annually — be produced without gestation crate confinement systems, using higher-welfare group housing systems instead.
  • Switching all of its pre-cracked (liquid) eggs — currently 11 million eggs annually — from hens confined in barren battery cages to hens living in cage-free farms, as it already does for shell eggs.
  • Entirely eliminating foie gras (livers of force-fed ducks) and veal from calves confined in crates from its menus.
  • Ramping up efforts to seek meat, poultry and egg producers that have received at least one of the four highest animal-welfare certifications.
Bon Appétit has used exclusively cage-free whole eggs since 2005 and endorsed legislation to outlaw gestation crates. Eight states have now passed such laws. It has also fought against the routine use of antibiotics in farm animals.

“I have never forgotten the terrible things I saw when touring factory farms,” said Fedele Bauccio, cofounder and CEO of Bon Appétit Management Company. “We’ve been asking the industry to do the right thing, but we can’t wait anymore.”

“We have to send the message that these practices are unacceptable,” he added. “If the supply doesn’t catch up by our deadline, we’ll do what we have to — even if that means cutting back on bacon.”

Bon Appétit vows that by 2015, 25 percent or more of its meat, poultry and egg purchases companywide will be sourced from producers that meet at least one of these four certifications: Animal Welfare Approved, Food Alliance, Humane Farm Animal Care or Global Animal Partnership certification.


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