McDonald's USA shared its ten-year plan to work with its pork suppliers to phase out the use of gestation stalls in its US pork supply.
In February, McDonald's USA announced its commitment to work with its pork suppliers to assess the current state of sow housing and to develop next steps for gestation stall phase out.
The goal of McDonald's ten-year plan, which was developed with input from its suppliers, pork producers and animal welfare experts, is to source all pork for its US business from producers that do not house pregnant sows in gestation stalls by the end of 2022.
As an interim step, by 2017, McDonald's will seek to source pork for its US business only from producers who share its commitment to phase out gestation stalls. To achieve this, the fast food giant will work with producers and suppliers to develop needed traceability systems that will verify pork sourced from non-gestation stall supply chains and assess how to best support producers migrating away from gestation stalls.
"We value our relationship with our suppliers, and our shared commitment to animal welfare," said Dan Gorsky, senior vice president of McDonald's North America Supply Chain Management. "Our approach seeks to build on the work already in place, and we are also sensitive to the needs of the smaller, independent pork producers in phasing out of gestation stalls."
Change is complex
"This change is complex and will require additional resources. The ten-year timeline that McDonald's has outlined is necessary to research and identify better housing alternatives and ensure proper training of employees," said Dr. Temple Grandin, renowned animal welfare scientist at Colorado State University and member of McDonald's Animal Welfare Council. "This is really good forward thinking, and I commend McDonald's for doing it."
"Any system will have animal welfare concerns, but I see real opportunity for innovation and better alternatives," said Dr. Ed Pajor, professor of animal welfare, University of Calgary and member of McDonald's Animal Welfare Council. "This plan provides a ten-year window for McDonald's producers and suppliers to develop practical and sustainable implementation steps to achieve the phase out of sow gestation stalls."
McDonald's will continue to work with its supplier network and subject matter experts to refine and implement this plan.