Safeway announced that it has begun eliminating gestation crates from its pork supply.
Gestation crates are cages used to confine breeding pigs so restrictively, the animals can’t even turn around. The predominant alternative is housing pregnant pigs in open groups, which provides greater freedom of movement.
“In 2012, Safeway announced that it would begin formulating plans to convert its pork supply to group sow housing,” recaps Safeway in a new policy announced on its website. The announcement continues:
Within the last several months the company has converted its entire Eastern Division fresh pork supply to product sourced from systems that utilize group sow housing, with plans to add another operating division in early 2014. Safeway will continue to shift its pork business to suppliers that have publicly announced plans for moving away from gestation stalls to group housing systems, and will ask these suppliers to provide us such plans by the end of 2014.
Safeway is one of 60 food companies that has mandated an end to gestation crates in their supply chains. Others include McDonald’s, Costco and Oscar Mayer. Following that pressure, the National Pork Board reported that a majority of pork producers are switching to gestation crate-free housing methods.