Metz Culinary Management, a provider of dining management services, primarily in the Northeastern United States, says it will work with its pork suppliers to eliminate gestation-sow stalls by 2017.

“Confining pigs in gestation crates is out of step with our belief that all animals, including animals raised for food, deserve a decent life,” says Craig Phillips, vice president of purchasing at Metz Culinary Management. “We urge the pork industry to follow our lead and create a timeline to eliminate gestation crates everywhere.”

Metz management reports that the goal is to purchase pork products only from suppliers that do not use gestation crates “by 2017 or sooner if products become readily available.” There was no specific outline provided regarding how the company plans to “work with its pork suppliers” to eliminate gestation stalls within the designated timeline.

In 2011, Metz was named one of the Top 20 Management Companies in the U.S. by Food Management Magazine one of the Top 5 Firms to Watch. Headquartered in Dallas, Penn., the company promotes the tagline, “Putting people and their palates first.”

A “family owned” company started in 1994, Metz provides custom food and environmental services for more than 100 dining management partners, including; hospitals, assisted-living and long-term care facilities, independent schools, colleges, universities and corporate offices.

“We’re heartened by Metz’s announcement and appreciate the company’s leadership in their efforts to create a more humane world,” says Josh Balk, the Humane Society of the United States’ corporate policy director.  “Metz is taking a step in the right direction by eliminating gestation and improving the quality of their pork supply.”

This brings the total to 36 food companies that have announced such decisions regarding gestation stalls. Nine U.S. states have laws on the books that ban the use of gestation stalls from their pork supply chains. Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey currently have similar bills pending for consideration.