December 29, 2015
Aurora Alimentos Pledges to Eliminate Gestation Crates for Breeding Sows
São Paulo — Cooperativa Central Aurora Alimentos, owner of Aurora brand and Brazil’s third largest pork producer, announced today a complete phase out of the continuous use of gestation crates for breeding sows. The company has set a 2026 deadline for completing the transition to group housing systems and has also pledged that all new production facilities will implement crate-free housing exclusively starting in 2016. Humane Society International welcomes this announcement as an important first step and encourages the company to hasten its timeline. Carolina Galvani, HSI Farm Animals’ senior campaign manager in Brazil, said: “We’re glad to see Aurora join the growing list of pork producers and food retail companies in Brazil that are eliminating the continuous use of gestation crates. This sends a clear message to the industry in Brazil that the future of pork production in the country is gestation crate-free. We look forward to working with other pork producers and food companies on similar policies.”
The continuous confinement of breeding sows in gestation crates has been banned throughout the European Union and numerous U.S. states. Gestation crates will also be phased-out in New Zealand by 2015 and Australia by 2017. The South Africa Pork Producers Organization expects to phase out the practice by 2020.
Pigs are highly intelligent, active and social animals. Yet, in Brazil, as in many countries, most breeding sows are confined in individual gestation crates for virtually their entire lives. These crates are barely larger than the animals’ bodies and prevent the animals from turning around or taking more than a few steps forward or backward. Extensive scientific research has proven that animals confined in such extreme ways are more likely to experience mental disorders and physical problems such as urinary infections and lameness.
- BRF and JBS, Brazil’s two largest pork producers, have committed to phasing out the practice of confining sows continuously in gestation crates by 2026 and 2025, respectively.
- Other leading global pork producers such – as Smithfield Foods, Cargill, Maple Leaf Foods and Hormel – have already transitioned or are transitioning to crate-free group housing systems.
- The largest food companies in the world are also adopting crate-free purchasing policies, committing to only purchase pork from producers that use group housing systems.
- Arcos Dorados, the largest McDonald’s franchise in Latin America and the Caribbean, announced that all of its pork suppliers must adopt group housing systems by 2022, including suppliers operating in Brazil.
- Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, has committed to eliminating gestation crates from its global supply chain, and more than 60 of the largest food companies, including McDonald’s, Burger King and Subway, have adopted crate-free purchasing policies for their supply chains in the United States.
Media contact: Carolina Galvani, firstname.lastname@example.org