Panera's new animal welfare goals reduce confinement, antibiotics

Panera Bread will reduce use of antibiotics and confinement for farm animals in its United States supply chain for Panera Bread and St. Louis Bread Company bakery-cafes, according to its new animal welfare standards. 

Charles Krupa/AP/File
Krista Johnson passes an order to a customer at a Panera store in Brookline, Mass. Panera recently released new details regarding animal welfare for poultry and livestock, following the company’s comprehensive Food Policy released in June.

Panera Bread recently released new details regarding animal welfare for poultry and livestock, following the company’s comprehensive Food Policy released in June 2014, which eliminated the use of all artificial additives. Now Panera Bread will reduce use of antibiotics and confinement for farm animals in its United States supply chain for Panera Bread and St. Louis Bread Company bakery-cafes.

As part of the commitment to have a positive impact on the food system and provide transparency, the Company will eliminate use of antibiotics in its entire pork supply – approximately 3.6 million kilograms (8 million pounds) – and will no longer use gestation crates for pregnant sows by January 2015.

“Today’s announcement isn’t just about sharing our journey and aspirations it’s about taking action. We know there is definitely room for improvement but today we’re proud to reflect on progress,” said Blaine Hurst, Executive Vice President, Chief Transformation and Growth Officer at Panera Bread. “For years Panera has been working closely with farmers ranchers and experts to learn how we can tangibly improve conditions for the farm animals in our supply chain. We’ve intentionally reduced or eliminated the use of antibiotics and confinement because we believe those are among the most critical animal welfare issues we can impact.”

Panera also reported that in 2014:

  • 91 percent of Panera’s pork supply received no antibiotics ever and was sourced from farms where pregnant sows are able to roam freely in group housing
  • 80 percent – or more than 900,000 kilograms (2 million pounds) – of the beef served by Panera was grass-fed
  • 18 percent of the more than 70 million eggs the Company served – including shell eggs, hard boiled and liquid egg whites – came from laying hens raised in cage-free environments
  • 100 percent of the chicken served in sandwiches and salads received no antibiotics ever and had a vegetarian-only diet

“Providing transparency is a critical step for any food business to take if they are serious about farm animal welfare. Panera Bread has done that today by communicating their current standards” said Leah Garces, U.S. Director of Compassion in World Farming.

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