Burger King Corp. (BKC) has announced two industry-leading commitments that will enhance the animal welfare standards in its U.S. supply chain, which serves more than 7,200 BURGER KING® restaurants nationwide.
The company has pledged to transition its U.S. supply chain to 100 percent cage-free eggs by 2017 and only purchase pork from suppliers that can demonstrate documented plans to end their use of gestation crates for breeding pigs-moves supported by The Humane Society of the United States.
'For more than a decade, Burger King Corp. has demonstrated a commitment to animal welfare and, through our BK Positive Steps®corporate responsibility program, we continue to leverage our purchasing power to ensure the appropriate and proper treatment of animals by our vendors and suppliers,' said Jonathan Fitzpatrick, chief brand and operations officer, Burger King Corp.
'We are proud to announce these new, industry-leading commitments that support meaningful standards of humane treatment in our U.S. supply chain.'
The move is not without some risks. Cage-free eggs can cost an extra 25 per 40 cents per dozen to produce, which for the hundreds of million eggs the chain uses each year, could add up to over $2 million in increased costs.
BURGER KING® restaurants was the first major quick-serve restaurant chain to implement a set of animal welfare policies aimed at reducing cage confinement of egg-laying hens and has continued its progress toward better conditions for animals in its supply chain.
Since 2007, BKC continued incorporating more cage-free eggs and purchasing gestation stall-free pork into its supply chain.
'Burger King Corp. has demonstrated when it comes to America's largest fast food chains, it continues to set the standard,' said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. 'These changes by Burger King Corp. will improve life for countless farm animals and encourage other companies to abide by animal welfare principles up and down their supply chain.'
BKC has adopted policies that encourage its vendors and suppliers to treat animals properly and practice good animal husbandry. In 2011, BKC was recognized with the Corporate Progress Award by the Humane Society of the United States for its industry- leading animal welfare practices. Additionally, the company works with industry associations, suppliers, government regulators and BKC's Animal Welfare Advisory Council to make informed decisions about its animal welfare standards.
Founded in 1954, BURGER KING® is the second largest fast food hamburger chain in the world. The original HOME OF THE WHOPPER®, the BURGER KING® system operates in more than 12,500 locations serving more than 11 million guests daily in 81 countries and territories worldwide.