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September 28, 2016

Burger King restaurant chain announces timeline to transition to cage-free egg and gestation crate-free pork supply chain in Latin America

Humane Society International

  • Bradley Murray/istock

Burger King - via its parent company Restaurant Brands International - has committed to switching to exclusively cage-free eggs and gestation crate-free pork for its entire supply chain in Latin America by 2025.

Earlier this year, the fast food restaurant chain pledged to transition to exclusively cage-free eggs globally, but this is the first time the company has announced a timeline for completing the transition in Latin America. Today’s new pledge also includes a commitment to only source gestation crate-free pork in Latin America. Humane Society International is working with RBI and other major global food companies in their transition to cage-free and gestation crate-free supply chains.

Elissa Lane, deputy director of HSI Farm Animals, stated: “Animal welfare has become a priority corporate social responsibility issue in Latin America and around the globe, and we applaud Restaurant Brands International for its leadership and for working with us to change the treatment of animals in food production.”

Sign HSI's "no crates or cages" petition.

In its new policy statement, Restaurant Brands International states: “At Restaurant Brands International (RBI), animal welfare is an issue of importance for us and our stakeholders, including our restaurant owners, suppliers, and guests…[w]hile we are not directly involved in the raising, handling, transportation or processing of animals, we consider animal welfare to apply to all aspects of farm animal care within our supply chain. We continue engaging with our partners at The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International to better understand these issues and others like it.”

In Latin America, most egg-laying hens are confined in wire battery cages so small that they cannot even fully stretch their wings. Each hen has about the space of an iPad to spend her whole life. Breeding sows are also confined for virtually their whole lives, or up to four years, in individual gestation crates so small that the animals cannot turn around or take more than a couple of steps forward or backward.

The world is moving away from battery cage and gestation crates, and the cage-free movement has quickly spread throughout Latin America. HSI has worked with leading food companies in the region on their recent cage-free egg policies, including Sodexo and Compass Group, the largest food service companies in the world; Alsea- the largest restaurant operator in Latin America, Grupo Bimbo, Grupo Toks and CMR.  In 2014, HSI worked with Arcos Dorados, the largest McDonald’s franchisee in Latin America and the world, on the adoption of its gestation crate-free pork procurement policy. The three leading pork producers in Brazil, BRF, JBS, and Aurora Alimentos, have also committed to transitioning to gestation crate-free group housing systems.

Media contact: Raul Arce-Contreras, rcontreras@humanesociety.org, +1 301.721.6440

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