Interest in animal welfare issues is growing in the food industry, and businesses are continuing to respond to increasing consumer demand. The latest business to come forward with a pledge to improve is Restaurant Brands International (RBI), the recently formed parent company of Burger King and Tim Hortons.
“At Restaurant Brands International (RBI), animal welfare is an issue of importance for us and our stakeholders, including our restaurant owners, suppliers, and guests,” reads a statement posted to RBI’s investor site. “While we are not directly involved in the raising, handling, transportation or processing of animals, we consider animal welfare to apply to all aspects of farm animal care within our supply chain.”
With this holistic supply chain approach in mind, RBI details its intentions to transition to using 100 percent cage-free eggs globally. In particular, the company set a goal to go cage-free at all Burger King and Tim Hortons locations across Canada, the United States, and Mexico by 2025, working closely with partners at The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International to make the goal a reality.
This does somewhat move the goalpost for Burger King—as CTV News points out, prior to the formation of RBI, Burger King previously pledged to switch to cage-free eggs in the United States by 2017. This new goal effectively gives Burger King the better half of a decade longer to make the transition. But with locations in Canada and Mexico now also added to the mix, the company is contending with a revamping of a much larger swath of its supply chain.
The plan is still a work in progress for RBI, and part of a bigger commitment the company intends to make toward greener and more socially responsible operations. “RBI continues to develop our sustainability framework and broader animal welfare strategy for release later in 2016, and are dedicated to improving our understanding of animal welfare issues by developing the necessary knowledge to manage effective policies and programs,” the statement adds.