H.J. Heinz Company, best known for ketchup but which has a variety of food products, is the latest company to announce that it will focus on doing business with pork suppliers who are not associated with gestation-sow stalls.

The Pittsburgh-based food manufacturer made the announcement on Monday by way of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

“[Heinz] is currently working with its pork suppliers to understand and document their plans to reduce or end the use of crates,” wrote Heinz in a letter to HSUS. “This information will be used to inform the company's choice of suppliers now and in the future, in an effort to increase the company's use of pork from crate-free sources and, over time, eliminate gestation crates from our supply chain.”

Heinz has provided no specific timeline beyond the statement in its letter.

Wayne Pacelle, HSUS president and chief executive officer, points to similar decisions by McDonald’s, Burger King, Kraft/Oscar Mayer, Kroger and others this year. “When you add all of this up, it’s clear that there’s no future in gestation crates for sows,” he said. “It will hopefully just be a matter of time before the pork industry’s leadership realizes that change is inevitable.”

Beyond ketchup, Heinz produces “15 Power Brands, which make up about 70 percent of the company’s global sales.” Among those are frozen meals and sauces that contain pork, including Weight Watchers and TGI Friday’s frozen meals, and Classico branded products.

According to the company, its focus is on “A World of Good Food.” Stating that it is “the most global of all U.S.-based food companies,” Heinz has food products in 200 countries worldwide.

As “The Good Food Company,” Heinz takes the position that “we will always place the needs, health, safety and well-being of our consumers above all else.”

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