No Antibiotics Ever for Pigs, No Gestation Crates for Pregnant Sows by January 2015
Panera Bread (NASDAQ: PNRA) today offered details regarding responsibly raised livestock and poultry following the company’s Food Policy introduction in June. As part of Panera’s commitment to have a positive impact on the food system and provide transparency, the Company is sharing progress on further reduction of antibiotic usage and confinement for farm animals in its U.S. supply chain for Panera Bread and St. Louis Bread Company bakery-cafes.
“For years, Panera has been working closely with farmers, ranchers and experts, to learn how we can tangibly improve conditions for the farm animals in our supply chain. We’ve intentionally reduced or eliminated the use of antibiotics and confinement because we believe those are among the most critical animal welfare issues we can impact,” said Blaine Hurst, Executive Vice President, Chief Transformation and Growth Officer.
“Today’s announcement isn’t just about sharing our journey and aspirations; it’s about taking action. We know there is definitely room for improvement, but today we’re proud to reflect on progress.”
Several years ago, Panera began transitioning to pigs raised in environments with reduced confinement, meaning that the use of gestation crates or stalls was reduced or eliminated to allow pregnant sows more space for movement. In 2014, that meant 91 percent of Panera’s pork supply received no antibiotics ever and was sourced from farms where pregnant sows are able to roam freely in group housing. These pigs are also fed a vegetarian-only diet. By January 2015, Panera intends for its entire pork supply — approximately 8 million pounds — to meet or exceed these standards.
In 2014, 80 percent — or more than two million pounds — of the beef served by Panera was grass-fed. This means that it was sourced from cattle that were able to roam freely and graze in pasture.
Laying Hens (Eggs)
In 2014, 18 percent of the more than 70 million eggs the Company served — including shell eggs, hard boiled and liquid egg whites — came from laying hens raised in cage-free environments, allowing full range of movement in indoor barns. All hens that supply shell eggs and hard boiled eggs for Panera also met the standard for no antibiotics ever and vegetarian-only diet.
In 2014, Panera marked 10 years serving chicken that received no antibiotics ever. This year, 100 percent of the chicken served in sandwiches and salads met this standard, and had a vegetarian-only diet. Nearly all the roasted turkey also received no antibiotics ever. Roasted turkey accounts for almost a third of the turkey served on Panera’s sandwiches and salads.
“We believe higher levels of animal welfare result in higher quality food, and that — combined with our culinary expertise — leads to better taste. Panera Bread intends to continue adopting practices that allow for farm animals to be raised in environments that support their health, fitness, and freedom,” said Dan Kish, Senior Vice President of Food.
“Providing transparency is a critical step for any food business to take if they are serious about farm animal welfare. Panera Bread has done that today by communicating their current standards,” said Leah Garces, USA Director Compassion in World Farming. “Food companies have the power to make a big difference to the lives of farm animals, and that begins with examining their supply chain and identifying opportunities where welfare standards can be improved. We commend Panera Bread for their transparency and look forward to seeing their progress over time.”
To learn more about Panera Bread’s Food Policy, please visit www.panerabread.com/foodpolicy.