McDonald's Franchisee to Phase out Sow Stalls in Latin America

LATIN AMERICA & CARIBBEAN - McDonald's restaurant operator, Arcos Dorados, is to set out plans to source pig meat from group-housed sows within the next two years.
calendar icon 16 April 2014
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Arcos Dorados – the largest operator of McDonald’s restaurants in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the world’s largest McDonald’s franchisee – has demonstrated its willingness to improve animal welfare with a new requirement for its pork suppliers, according to Humane Society International (HSI).

Within the next two years, the company must present documented plans to limit gestation crate use and promote group housing for sows. Twenty countries in Latin America, including Brazil and Mexico (two of the company’s largest markets) will be affected.

Currently, HSI says that millions of breeding pigs in Latin America spend virtually their entire lives confined to crates, unable even to turn around.

This latest announcement comes after more than a year of discussions between HSI and Arcos Dorados, and follows a commitment by McDonald’s to end the use of gestation crates in its US supply chain by 2022.

According to HSI, the lifelong confinement of sows in gestation crates is on the way out in the United States and has been banned in other places around the globe, including throughout the European Union and just recently in Canada. Dozens of US-based food retailers are planning to eliminate gestation crates from their pork supply chains and Smithfield Foods, the largest pork producer in the world, has also pledged a complete phase-out of crates globally by 2022.

HSI says Arcos Dorados’ decision is a promising step forward in our efforts to end the use of gestation crates in Latin America.

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