Compass Group USA to phase out gestation crates by summer 2023

Firm says it has steadily increased percentage of higher welfare pork, however industrywide supply chain challenges continue to cause delays.

Compiled by staff

November 29, 2022

2 Min Read
Compass Group USA to phase out gestation crates by summer 2023
National Pork Board

The world's largest foodservice company, Compass Group USA, has pledged to source only gestation crate free pork by the summer of 2023. The firm also said it is committed to exclusively using cage-free egg and eggs that are Humane Farm Animal Care certified. 

In a recently released report on farm animal welfare, Compass Group said it "remains committed to eliminating pork that comes from animals bred using gestation crates in its U.S. supply chain. While we have been steadily increasing the percentage of higher welfare pork we serve, industrywide supply chain challenges continue to cause delays. As a next step toward our commitment, we will transition to, at minimum, group housed pork (pigs crated five to seven days) by summer 2023 with our priority being to source gestation crate free pork. We will continue to provide updates as we make further progress."

In 2012, Compass made an initial commitment to eliminate gestation crates in its U.S. supply chain by 2017. At that time, the firm said it was purchasing 38 million pounds of pork annually.

As for the company's fiscal year 2022 egg purchases, Compass Group said 82% of its shell and 85% of its liquid purchases are cage free. Deviation from its commitment to 100% cage-free eggs has been due to supply chain disruptions and the firm anticipates reaching its goal by Q1 2023. The company will continue to provide updates as it make further progress.

Compass also plans to exclusively source chicken meat from operations that meet the Better Chicken Commitment standards and is developing a roadmap on all aspects of the standard for release in 2023. The firm is part of the Compassion in World Farming's "Working Group for Broilers" to create industry-wide actions on the issue and will provide an update in Q1 of 2023.

The firm is also committed to reducing antibiotics and sources "foods that are produced with minimal use of - or free from - chemicals and antibiotics, including milk, yogurt and poultry." Since 2010, Compass Group USA has had a commitment regarding the elimination of the recombinant bovine growth hormone from all liquid dairy products and yogurt.

In 2015, Compass set a goal to double the volume of animal proteins from ranches and farms whose practices have been certified by Humane Farm Animal Care's Certified Humane program by 2020. In the report, the firm said, "through close relationships with our suppliers and the dedication of our talented chefs, we increased our purchases from 1.3 million pounds to over 16 million pounds by early 2020. We are incredibly proud of this achievement and are excited to continue our progress."

Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Compass Group North America serves dining operations at more than 10,000 schools, colleges and universities, corporations, hospitals and senior living centers, sports and entertainment venues and cultural institutions across the country. Compass' brands include Bon Appétit, Canteen, Restaurant Associates and Wolfgang Puck Catering. 

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