Blue Apron says it’s the first major meal kit program to release a farm animal welfare policy, the company announced last week.
The new commitment earned Blue Apron recognition at the 2018 Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards hosted by Compassion in World Farming, an international farm animal welfare organization. It received the “Good Chicken Award” for its chicken welfare standards.
“We believe that a critical component of any successful food company is the responsibility––to our customers, suppliers, and the industry at large––to ensure the health and well-being of animals raised throughout our supply chain,” Tim Smith, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Consumer Products at Blue Apron, said in a statement. “We are honored to receive Compassion in World Farming’s Good Chicken Award in recognition of the accomplishments we have made in our broiler chicken supply, and are proud to share our comprehensive animal welfare standards and future sourcing commitments with the public.”
Compassion in World Farming says it supports Blue Apron and will continue to work to help the company improve its supply chain and treatment of animals. “Compassion in World Farming is proud to be working with Blue Apron to drive meaningful, positive change in the welfare of farmed animals,” said Leah Garces, Executive Director of Compassion in World Farming. “Blue Apron’s pledge demonstrates its genuine commitment to improving the lives of animals raised throughout its supply chain, most notably broiler chickens, and to report openly on its progress.”
Blue Apron says its new policy affects animals across the board. For laying hens, 100 percent of the meal kit company’s eggs now come from pasture-raised hens. All of its pork comes from systems that eschew gestation crates. But it still has work to do in chickens raised for meat and cows raised for beef. The company says that over ten percent of its broiler chicken supply chain is pasture-raised. It did not provide a timeline for switching to all pasture-raised chicken meat. And for beef, 40 percent of the company’s cattle herds are pasture-raised and aims to be at 50 percent by the end of 2019.
The company is also working to improve its overall animal welfare standards with Certified Human goals across the board. It also noted that none of the animals in the Blue Apron supply chain are given antibiotics or growth hormones.
“We are proud of how far we have come in our efforts to implement positive change within the food system,” said Smith. “The ethical and humane treatment of animals raised for food has been a top priority of Blue Apron and we are encouraged by our achievements to date across our supply chain.”
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