The Kroger Co. and Albertson’s continue to support the Food Marketing Institute's development of an animal welfare program. Both companies will require its suppliers to adopt the program's "best practice" guidelines when they are issued by FMI in early summer.

FMI began reviewing the issue of animal welfare in 2001 at the request of its member companies, including Kroger, Albertson's, Safeway and others.

Last June, FMI teamed up with the National Council of Chain Restaurants to jointly address animal welfare issues. During the past 12 months, FMI and NCCR have been working with their members and leading animal welfare experts to develop science-based guidelines that will strengthen animal welfare practices across species.

FMI and NCCR will issue a report early this summer that includes "best practice" guidelines to ensure the humane treatment of animals.

The FMI/NCCR guidelines will have "objective, measurable indices for humane practices in the growing, handling and processing of animals in food production. In addition, the report will include recommendations for auditing and monitoring compliance.

A number of chain restaurants, including McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King and others, are involved in the program.

PR Newswire