A new report is grading the 20 largest U.S. grocery retailers on their commitments to farm animal welfare, with only two retailers receiving “A” grades —— Sprouts Farmers Market and Whole Foods Market.
The report from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is the company’s inaugural animal welfare study, which tracks commitments and progress in three key areas: cage-free eggs, gestation crate-free pork, and alignment with the “Better Chicken Commitment,” a set of standards that aims to improve the welfare of billions of chickens raised for meat.
Whole Foods Market earned an “A+” grade for complete policies on all three animal welfare issues, and 100% cage-free, and 100% gestation crate-free implementation.
Sprouts Farmers Market received an “A” grade, with two complete policies for egg-laying hens and pregnant pigs and a partial policy for broiler chickens. Sprouts has reached 100% compliance for cage-free and is reporting progress on its other policies.
Ten other supermarkets that received a nod for complete cage-free policies: Albertsons, Food Lion, Key Food, Publix, Safeway, Sam’s Club, Stop & Shop, Target, Walmart, and Walmart Neighborhood Market.
Additional highlights from the report include:
- 69% of the public wants transparency about supermarkets’ progress toward stocking more humane products
- Most consumers are willing to switch supermarkets if they learn that theirs does not offer alternatives to factory-farmed food
- Fifteen of the 20 grocery retailers (75%) have at least acknowledged the issue of housing hens in battery cages
- Five supermarkets that have not adopted public policies to address these farm animal welfare issues are Grocery Outlet, Piggly Wiggly, Save A Lot, Trader Joe’s, and Winn-Dixie (all received an F grade on corporate animal welfare policies)
“The ASPCA is working with some of the largest supermarket chains to help them swiftly adopt and progress on strong welfare policies,” said Nancy Roulston, senior director of corporate policy and animal scientist, at ASPCA Farm Animal Welfare.