Due to demand from conscious consumers and pressure from organizations like Farm Forward and our allies, the food industry is changing. Blue Apron, the leading meal kit service, has announced an industry-leading animal welfare policy that has a strong focus on third-party animal welfare certification and public transparency. Blue Apron’s policy demonstrates the improvements to animal welfare possible in a large supply chain. Blue Apron’s changes will impact several million animals per year.
Farm Forward worked with Blue Apron’s supply chain team for more than two years to develop standards, source higher welfare animal products, and evaluate suppliers to confirm they could meet Blue Apron’s new standards. Our collaboration shows how food companies can work with animal welfare organizations to set forward-looking standards and push the envelope of what’s possible for farmed animal welfare.
Study1 after study2 shows that consumers care about how animals are treated. They are troubled, to say the least, by many of the practices of industrial animal production. Many companies have responded to consumer pressure over the last decade, especially the last five years, by eliminating some of their very worst animal welfare practices.
Most recently, in just the past year, dozens of companies—including Burger King, Starbucks, and Compass Group—have gone beyond eliminating their worst practices to improving their standard practices. Now Blue Apron, with Farm Forward’s support, has evaluated new possibilities for its beef and broiler chicken supply chains and committed to set an even higher standard.
Blue Apron’s Policy
Blue Apron’s animal welfare policy represents an important step forward in several respects:
- Meat from slower-growing chickens. Blue Apron has announced that more than 10 percent of the chicken in their meal kits is certified at GAP Step 4, which means that they are using slower-growing breeds raised with access to pasture. Blue Apron has also committed to source 100 percent of their chicken from slower-growing birds raised with environmental enrichments, more space, and improved slaughter by 2022.
- Eggs from pasture raised hens. 100 percent of Blue Apron’s eggs come from pasture-based farms verified by Certified Humane Pasture Raised, which requires that hens have continuous access to vegetated pasture. This is a tremendous improvement over cage-free, where most hens are raised in cramped conditions indoors.
- Beef from cattle raised entirely on pasture. By the end of 2019, 50 percent of the cows providing Blue Apron’s beef will be raised and finished on pasture.
- Commitment to verification and transparency. Blue Apron is the first U.S. company to commit to sell only those animal products that use Certified Humane or GAP animal welfare certifications, also by the end of 2019.
While most companies are raising the floor and eliminating the worst practices from their supply chains, Blue Apron is pushing the ceiling: setting a positive vision for a path forward that ensures meaningfully better conditions for all animals in their supply chain.
Learn more about our work to help institutions leverage their buying power to change the way animals are raised for food.