McDonalds A Game Changer For The Meat Industry
A recent Op-Ed in the New York Times heralded McDonalds,calling the company a game changer for the meat industry for their move to ban gestation crates for pigs. I’m Susan Allen Open Range will be back after the break. In an Op-Ed last week Mark Bittman who writes about food issues for the New York Times reported that by May McDonalds will require it’s suppliers of pork to provide plans for phasing out gestation crates. To quote Bittman “Considering 90 percent of the pregnant sows in are in gestation stalls, the effect on the industry will be huge, because in the world of big-time meat supply, there are two kinds of producers: those who sell to McDonald’s and those wish they could. When, in 1999, McDonald’s requested that its suppliers give caged hens 72 square inches of space instead of 48 not a single factory-farmed hen in the country was being raised with 72 inches of space. Yet the entire supply chain was converted in just 18 months, and 72 square inches is now effectively the industry standard. Switching from gestation crates to group sow housing is more labor- and capital-intensive, requiring changes that will take money and time, so an 18-month turnaround is unrealistic. But it’s likely that within a few years gestation crates will be history for most pork producers" and Bittman considers that a major victory.” Whole Foods and Chipotle have also reportedly banned gestation crates.