Pork distributor Atlantic Premium Brands announced a move to eliminate gestation crates from its supply chain on Friday, setting a goal for complete phase-out by 2017.
The distributor provides pork to grocery chains such as Walmart, HEB, Kroger, Costco, Sam's Club, Safeway, and SUPERVALU. The company also produces value added products including Blue Ribbon Smoke Sausage, Carlton Sausage, Tejano Gold and others.
The company, based in Northbrook, Ill., has operations in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. Atlantic announced the decision with the support of the Humane Society of the United States.
In a press statement released by HSUS, Thomas Dalton, president and CEO of Atlantic Premium Brands, Ltd., cited changes in management from their own suppliers as a reason for the change.
“Atlantic Premium takes animal welfare seriously, and wholeheartedly endorses the transition from gestation crates to group housing for pigs, which is the direction many of our pork suppliers are already moving in,” Dalton said. "Like many of our customer partners and others in the food industry, we too are putting in place plans to have a gestation crate-free supply chain by 2017, which is the date by which many leading pork producers will be gestation crate-free."
The company joins many other restaurants and food suppliers in the move to crate-free pork sourcing.