Pizza powerhouse Papa John’s has made a commitment to stop working with suppliers that are raising sows in gestation crates. This move comes as the food industry as a whole is shifting away from the use of that practice.
Gestation crates are small cages used to confine pregnant sows. These cages are so small that the sows cannot turn around in them, and nearly all movement is extremely limited. While the practice of using them has been criticized for many years by special interest groups, the issue has become more popular recently. Tim Horton’s, McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s are all working to get rid of gestation crates.
Unfortunately, stopping the use of the crates is not something that can happen immediately. Papa John’s is the most recent in a list of companies to create a timeline for the phasing out of the gestation crates. It is also a member of a group of companies seemingly making a bigger commitment to providing better, and better raised food to customers.
Earlier this year, Chipotle made the announcement they were working to provide food that is completely free of GMOs. As people become more curious about where their food comes from, and more adamant about how it’s treated. Stories like these will become less newsworthy and more of the norm.
In Papa John’s case, they are looking at their current practices and finding them less than desirable. On their website, the company explains their stand on the topic of animal rights and humane treatment. “Papa John’s International specifies that proper and human animal welfare practices should be followed during every step of processing.”
The site also states that they support the industry move away from the traditional gestation crates. “[We] are encouraging our suppliers to explore alternative pregnant sow housing options.” Papa John’s has over 4,000 stores and features pork in many of their menu items, including pepperoni and sausage. They plan to have ”significant movement” away from gestation crates by 2022. Because it is a traditional practice, it will take a significant overhaul of the pork industry to completely remove gestation crates.