Burger King ups its humane sourcing

The Burger King fast food chain announced last week that it would purchase eggs and pork in increased numbers from North American slaughterhouses that use more humane treatment.

By next year, 5% of the eggs Burger King uses will come from cage-free hens, while a fifth of its pork will come from producers who phase out gestation crates. More poultry will also be sourced from processors using controlled-atmosphere stunning.

Burger King will continue to use the same suppliers, but amounts of more humanely produced supply will increase as suppliers adapt techniques for larger volume requirements.

The move means higher expenses for Burger King due to increased farming costs, but the company said it would not raise its menu prices as a result. The decision comes following negotiations with the American Humane Society and animal rights activists People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Burger King buys 18m kg of eggs and 15.8m kg of pork each year from North American suppliers.

American producer Smithfield Foods announced it would start phasing out gestation stalls this year, followed by similar declarations by Canada's largest pork producer Maple Leaf Foods.

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