Bon Appétit implements stringent animal welfare policy

Policy must be in place by 2015.

Feb. 21— Bon Appétit Management Co. has announced the roll out of a comprehensive animal welfare policy to all its more than 400 cafes nationwide.

The new policy includes requirements such as all pork Bon Appétit serves must be produced without gestation crate confinement systems; all pre-cracked (liquid) eggs must come from hens living in cage-free farms, which the company already required for shell eggs; and eliminating foie gras and veal from calves confined in crates from its menus. The policy will be put in place by 2015. The policy won praise from the Humane Society of the United States.

“Bon Appétit has turned ‘very good’ into ‘great,’ setting a new high water mark in the food-service sector,” Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, said in a press release. “Consumers are deeply concerned about animal welfare, and Bon Appétit is responding.”

The policy is the latest step in the company’s efforts to promote responsible purchasing. Bon Appétit works with producers to pursue Animal Welfare Approved, Food Alliance, Humane Farm Animal Care or Global Animal Partnership certification. Bon Appétit has pledged that by 2015, 25% or more of its meat, poultry and egg purchases companywide will be sourced from producers that meet at least one of these four certifications.

“We’ve been asking the industry to do the right thing, but we can’t wait anymore,” Fedele Bauccio, cofounder and CEO of Bon Appétit, said in the release. “We have to send the message that these practices are unacceptable. If the supply doesn’t catch up by our deadline, we’ll do what we have to—even if that means cutting back on bacon.”