CINCINNATI, June 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) today announced that it has begun informing suppliers of a new policy statement regarding gestation crates that are used to house pregnant sows.
Kroger has science-based standards for animal welfare and works diligently to ensure that its suppliers treat animals humanely. Over the past few months, the Company has reviewed the opinions of animal welfare experts and other experts regarding the use of gestation crates for pregnant sows and has concluded that there are many ways to humanely house sows.
Kroger believes that a gestation crate-free environment is more humane and that the pork industry should work toward gestation crate-free housing for pregnant sows.
The Company is encouraging its suppliers to accelerate this already-occurring transition in the Kroger supply-chain. Kroger also wants customers to know that this is a transition that may take many years.
Kroger has long been a leader in animal welfare. More than a decade ago, the Company urged the industry to create meaningful animal welfare standards that are still used today. Kroger regularly audits its suppliers to ensure animals are raised, transported, and processed as humanely as possible.
Kroger, the nation's largest traditional grocery retailer, employs more than 339,000 associates who serve customers in 2,435 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Jay C, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry's, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith's. The company also operates 791 convenience stores, 348 fine jewelry stores, 1,090 supermarket fuel centers and 39 food processing plants in the U.S. Recognized by Forbes as the most generous company in America, Kroger supports hunger relief, breast cancer awareness, the military and their families, and more than 30,000 schools and grassroots organizations in the communities it serves. Kroger contributes food and funds equal to 125 million meals a year through more than 80 Feeding America food bank partners. For more information, please visit www.kroger.com.
SOURCE The Kroger Co.