Safeway Says It Is Moving Toward Crate-Free Pork Suppliers

Safeway is joining the ranks of other food providers, announcing that it plans to stop using any pork suppliers that put pregnant sows in cages as part of the production process. Animal rights groups call caging or crating pigs inhumane.

According to Reuters, Safeway, the second-largest U.S. grocery store chain, is on the track to sustainability. Currently, it’s common in the industry to keep pregnant pigs in narrow metal cages called gestation crates, where they can’t move, for months. Proponents of the practice say it keeps pigs from fighting with each other.

“We think there are more sustainable pork production methods,” said Safeway vice president of public affairs Brian Dowling. Safeway didn’t set a date for when it will begin the move toward cage-free pigs, but said it would take a “long period.”

Safeway’s announcement is a pretty big deal in the industry, because everyone wants to sell them pigs.

“Most pork producers either sell to Safeway or want to sell to Safeway. That’s how big Safeway is as a grocery chain…by letting the industry know that this is its goal, (Safeway) is helping move the industry in the right direction,” said Paul Shapiro, spokesperson for Humane Society of the United States.

On the other side, the National Pork Producers Council is a bit worried about the move, calling it a larger trend by governments, restaurants and grocery chains to bow to pressure from animal rights groups and in turn, raise prices for consumers.

“It seems that Safeway was intimidated by an animal rights group whose ultimate goal is the elimination of food-animal production,” the council’s President R.C. Hunt said in a statement.

McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s have also recently announced plans to shift from suppliers who use gestation crates.

Safeway grocery says moving to crate-free pork supply [Reuters]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Shouhdes says:

    I don’t have a relevant opinion for this.

    But I like bacon.

  2. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Put….the satanic…pig….away.

  3. PHRoG says:

    Yes…it’s an evil conspiracy to raise prices!


    Works for me if it gets the little piggies away from the crates. ;)

    • AcctbyDay says:

      Move away from animal cruelty is a plus, however how do you think they get on your plate? The animals are killed. More directly, they are killed in the most efficient, cost effective way. I assure you there is nothing pleasant about eating meat if you think about the entire process.

      • JennQPublic says:

        There’s a big difference between humanely taking an animal’s life (many pigs are gassed, so it is not a painful death), and abusing them while they are still alive.

  4. Blueskylaw says:

    “Safeway Says It Is Moving Toward Crate-Free Pork Suppliers”

    I’m not sure i’m comfortable with my bacon moving around on its own and getting lost.

  5. Slow-talking Walter, the fire-engine guy. says:

    Kudos to Safeway!

    I think I just read yesterday on HuffPo where they are on the top of the list for selling sustainable fish as well.

  6. Agent Hooter Enjoys Enhanced Patdowns says:

    I hunt all my meals free range in the forest with the tools nature alone gave me…

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Even nuclear weapons were built with what nature alone gave you: a brain.

    • Gman says:

      Wait so you are the one who is hunting my free range forest cows herd?

      Speaking of nature tools. I hear the new model 2013 of obsidian shard knife is going to be really awesome next year. I already pre-ordered mine from Grok.

  7. Power Imbalance says:

    “Moving towards” and actually doing are two complete different things.

    To me this is a non-story until it actually happens, kind like me saying, “I’m moving towards becoming a billionaire.”

  8. jayphat says:

    Gestation crate? The hell? Back in my day we called those farrowing crates and kept them in there for 4-6 weeks so they could move around to crush the newborns. They may be talking about something totally different though.

  9. CommonSense(ಠ_ಠ) says:

    Who cares it is food and the pigs dont know any different.
    I fail to see how this is wrong. All the pig wants to do is eat and that is what it gets to do all day long.
    All safeway will do is cause their prices to go up and they wont be able to compete with other stores for some stupid cause that changes nothing in the pigs life or wellbeing.

  10. shthar says:

    Course, we’re still going to kill and eat them after 6 weeks.