Compass Group, the world's largest food and support services company, will eliminate all pork that comes from animals bred using gestation crates in its U.S. supply chain by 2017. Compass Group runs dining operations at more than 10,000 schools, colleges and universities, corporations, hospitals and senior living centers, sports and entertainment venues and cultural institutions across the country, and purchases 38 million pounds of pork annually.
This announcement follows on the heels of Bon Appetit Management Co.'s sweeping commitment to animal welfare, announced Feb. 21. Bon Appetit, long recognized for its pioneering efforts toward a more sustainable food supply, is one of the companies in Compass Group's portfolio.
"Animal welfare is an important issue to our clients, our guests and our company," said Steve Sweeney, CEO of Chartwells, which provides dining services to schools and higher education, speaking on behalf of Compass Group in a prepared statement. "Encouraged by Bon Appetit's efforts, we are proud to be the first large foodservice company to make this commitment." Chartwells provides foodservice at more than 225 colleges and universities, and 550 school districts.
Compass Group has a history of responsible initiatives, including support for sustainable agriculture and local food economies, the 100 percent use of cage free shell eggs, the reduction of the use of antibiotics in animal production, sustainable seafood for healthier oceans, and social justice in agriculture exemplified by a partnership with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.
Eight states and the European Union have passed laws to phase out gestation crates. Animal welfare expert and advisor to the pork industry, Dr. Temple Grandin, states that gestation crates "are a real problem" and "have to go."