Bon Appétit Management Co. officials have announced that they will focus on suppliers whose products do not trace back to gestation-sow stalls or battery cages for egg-laying hens.
Bon Appétit operates more than 400 foodservice outlets for corporations, universities, museums and specialty venues in 31 states.
Bon Appétit’s new policies include:
● Requiring all pork that it serves be produced without the use of gestation-sow stalls. It currently serves an estimated 3 million pounds of pork annually.
● Switching all of its pre-cracked (liquid) eggs from hens housed in battery cages to cage-free farms, as it has for shell eggs since 2005. The company uses an estimated 11 million eggs annually.
● Eliminate foie gras and stall-housed veal calves from its menus.
● Increase efforts to work with meat, poultry and egg producers who have received at least one of these animal-welfare certifications: Animal Welfare Approved, Food Alliance, Humane Farm Animal Care or Global Animal Partnership.
These steps will be phased in by 2015, company officials say. 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 those four certification programs.
Bon Appétit also will continue to offer and promote vegetarian menu options as part of its “Low-Carbon Diet initiative”, introduced in 2007.
Bon Appétit has previously endorsed legislation to outlaw gestation-sow stalls. From 2006 to 2008, Fedele Bauccio, Bon Appétit’s cofounder and chief executive officer, served on the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production.
In his announcement, Bauccio said, “We’ve been asking the industry to do the right thing, but we can’t wait anymore. 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 has turned ‘very good’ into ‘great,’ setting a new high-water mark in the foodservice sector,” says Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive officer of The Humane Society of the United States. “Consumers are deeply concerned about animal welfare, and Bon Appétit is responding.”