Dunkin’ Donuts is the latest food retailer to announce that it will eliminate sow gestation crates from its pork supply chain, according to a company press release. In order to determine a timeline for eliminating gestation crates, the company will require its U.S. pork suppliers to outline their plans to achieve this goal.

The company also announced that it will begin switching to cage-free eggs in its breakfast sandwiches nationwide. As a first step, the company will transition 5 percent of its eggs to cage-free by the end of 2013.  

Dunkin' Donuts, based in Canton, Mass., is the world's leading baked goods and coffee chain, serving more than 3 million customers per day, according to the company's website, At the end of 2011, there were 10,083 Dunkin' Donuts stores worldwide, including 7,015 franchised restaurants in 36 United States and 3,068 international shops in 32 countries.

“Dunkin' Donuts is committed to environmental and social responsibility, and we’re pleased to announce this commitment to continuously raise the bar for the treatment of animals within our supply chain,” said Scott Murphy, vice president, Dunkin’ Donuts global supply chain. “We’re working with our partners at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and our franchisee-owned distribution and purchasing cooperative to source ingredients that meet high animal welfare standards.”

"Dunkin’ Donuts’ move to procure eggs from more humane sources and to eliminate gestation crates reflects a strong commitment to animal welfare," said Josh Balk, director of corporate policy for HSUS. Read an interview of the HSUS officer by Christine Riley, director of corporate social responsibility for Dunkin’ Brands, parent of Dunkin’ Donuts.

Dunkin’ Donuts “views its commitment to animal welfare as an important part of its overall strategy to responsibly serve its guests and the communities that it serves in a range of areas,” according to the company’s announcement.

Dunkin’ Brands’ commitment to corporate social responsibility is available online.