Sodexo Inc., the leading provider of Quality of Daily Life Solutions in North America, announced today that it will work with pork suppliers to phase out the use of gestation stalls in its supply chain by 2022, a decision supported by The Humane Society of the United States.

“Sodexo is a company committed to strategically partnering with our clients to meet their consumers’ needs. We source products that meet stringent requirements for a wide range of factors, including value, nutrition, safety, quality, environmental impact, and animal welfare,” says Deborah Hecker, vice president, sustainability and CSR, Sodexo.

“Today we are taking a big step forward in meeting client needs, consumer interests, and improving animal welfare by asking all of our pork suppliers for clear plans to remove gestation stalls from the production process by 2022.”

Sodexo has initiated a review process in its North American operations whereby it is asking all of its primary pork suppliers for their plans to not only eliminate gestation stalls from the farms that they own and operate, but their contracted pork operations as well. Suppliers are to provide Sodexo with actionable plans by 2017, detailing how they plan to achieve this.

“Starting today, all future RFPs for pork and products containing pork will include requirements to demonstrate that gestation stalls will be phased out of the supply chain by 2022,” says Jim Pazzanese, vice president, supply management, Sodexo.

“Gestation crates confine pigs to such an extreme state that the animals are virtually immobilized for nearly their entire lives,” says Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. “The impact of Sodexo’s announcement significantly advances the industry’s progress toward a more humane and sustainable food system.”

Sodexo also recently amended its Supplier Code of Conduct policy to specifically state that it seeks to work with suppliers who are leaders in their industries with regard to animal welfare and environmental practices. The commitment to animal welfare, however, is just one part of Sodexo’s overall approach to sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

Last year it also launched a Sustainable Seafood Initiative, which includes a commitment to having 100 percent of its fresh and frozen contracted seafood MSC or BAP certified sustainable by 2015.

Among the recognized achievements in sustainability for Sodexo are: the Dow Jones 2011-2012 Global Sustainability Leader; Sustainability Yearbook; 2012 SAM Sector Leader and 2012 Fortune’s Most Admired Companies. Guided by the Better Tomorrow Plan, Sodexo’s global roadmap to sustainability, the company actively works to protect the environment, promote health and wellness, and support local communities.

“Creating a more sustainable supply chain that includes best practices in animal welfare is extremely complex for any business where the strategic sourcing priority is to serve specific client needs. It is further complicated by the fact that Sodexo is not directly involved in the care, management or processing of farm animals,” Pazzanese says.

“Despite these challenges, Sodexo recognizes animal welfare as an important component for a sustainable supply chain and we’re committed to educating clients and stakeholders on our sourcing process and promoting the phase out of gestation stalls in our North American operations as a way to deliver on current client needs and consumer interest.”

Food, Food Safety, News, Operations, Sodexo