The Philadelphia-based ARAMARK joins other foodservice companies in the movement to eliminate gestation-sow stalls from its U.S. pork supply channels. The company made the announcement through a news release from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

Collaborating with HSUS, ARAMARK has asked its primary pork suppliers to develop plans for reducing, and then eliminating gestation crates. ARAMARK has set 2017 as the deadline for all suppliers to completely eliminate gestation stalls.

In addition, ARAMARK officials say they will require all new pork supplier contracts to include a plan that addresses how the supplier will phase out gestation creates to meet the company’s 2017 goal.

“With this announcement, the three largest foodservice companies in the country-- ARAMARK, Compass Group and Sodexo—which, combined, run tens of thousands of dining operations at schools, hospitals, corporate cafeterias, and stadiums, have all created timelines to eliminate gestation crates,” says Matthew Prescott, HSUS’ food policy director.

“ARAMARK is proud to stand in partnership with other industry leaders and supply chain partners to transition away from gestation crates in a timely fashion,” said Kathy Cacciola, ARAMARK’s senior director of environmental sustainability. “We’re committed to operating responsibly and addressing key issues, including animal welfare, throughout our supply chain and business, and this commitment helps move the entire industry toward the elimination of gestation crates.”

A privately held company, ARAMARK’s priorities include addressing “issues that matter to its clients, customers, employees and communities by focusing on employee advocacy, environmental stewardship, health and wellness, and community involvement.”

“ARAMARK is the largest U.S.-based food service company taking a stand on this issue and the company’s decision to eliminate pork from methods using gestation crates is a move toward even greater social responsibility,” said Wayne Pacelle, HSUS president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.

ARAMARK has approximately 250,000 employees serving clients in 22 countries from convention centers to schools to health-care facilities to sports and entertainment venues and more. It made Fortune magazine’s 2012 list of “World’s Most Admired Companies.” The company also was honored this year as one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute.” You can find more information about ARAMARK here.