New gestation crate commitment from ConAgra Brands

14-04 | |
ConAgra Brands
Conagra states that “our efforts are focused on trim and fresh pork directly sourced." Foto: Peter Roek

Conagra Brands will source all of its pork from farms where gestating sows are kept in open pen housing systems, starting in May 2026. This means that after a maximum of 6 weeks staying in gestation crates, gestating sows go to group pens.

In its ‘2022 Citizenship Report’, Conagra states that “our efforts are focused on trim and fresh pork directly sourced. This means purchased by us for use as an ingredient for products manufactured in our facilities. It excludes private label and foodservice products.”

Conagra’s plans

In the ‘2022 Citizenship Report’, Conagra Brands states that its new May 2026 commitment is only part of its support of the development of gestating sow housing alternatives and eliminating the unnecessary use of gestation crates.

The company states that “to reach this goal within 3 fiscal years, we are aiming to source at least 30% open pen pork by the end of fiscal year 2024. This is 60% by the end of fiscal year 2025. These benchmarks provide a guide for us as we move toward our goal. We will provide updates on our actual progress via our annual Citizenship Report.”

Conagra adds that as it moves toward “our longer-term goal of fully eliminating the use of gestation crates, we will continue to collaborate across our value chain to help drive progress.”

Humane Society of the United States

The Humane Society of the United States is a shareholder in the firm. It claims it was ‘instrumental’ in Conagra’s decision and promises to ensure Conagra follows through.

Other companies may follow suit

Other food companies may follow in Conagra’s footsteps as the US Supreme Court will soon decide that California’s Proposition 12 does instead have legal standing. This set of laws includes the requirement that any pork sold in California must come from sows housed without the use of gestation crates.

Already, 2 of the largest US pork companies, Tyson Foods and Hormel, agreed to comply with Prop 12. In Canada, Maple Leaf Foods has already transitioned all its own production to open housing for gestating sows. Quebec-based duBreton stated in 2022 that it will comply with Prop 12.

Conagra Brands

Conagra Brands is an international food company based in Chicago. It has 42 food plants, 18,000 employees and an annual revenue of € 16.5 billion. Its brands include Healthy Choice (meal products) Marie Callender’s (meal products), Slim Jim (meat snacks) and Gardein (vegan products).

Treena Hein Correspondent
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