SUPPLIERS of finished products and raw materials for Wendy's Co. will be required to file quarterly reports that reflect the percentage of stall-free pork supplied, according to an update on Wendy's website.
"Wendy's is working with its U.S. and Canadian pork suppliers to eliminate the use of sow gestation stalls over time," the company said in a statement. "We believe that confining pigs in gestation stalls is not sustainable over the long term, and moving away from this practice is the right thing to do."
Since 2007, Wendy's has committed to eliminating the use of sow gestation stalls in its supply chain. As a result, it has established a company policy to give preferential buying to pork producers that implement a plan to phase out single sow gestation stalls.
"We maintain our commitment of achieving gestation stall-free sourcing and welcome the ongoing and expanded cooperation from our suppliers," Wendy's said on its website.
According to the fast-food chain, after an announcement from two of its suppliers that comprise a majority of its pork supply, Wendy's said it is confident that it can purchase all of its pork from producers that do not use sow gestation stalls by 2022.
Still, the reporting requirement comes at a critical time as pork supplies in the marketplace are tight.
Wendy's preliminary 2013 fourth-quarter summary reported strong sales as result of customers responding positively to its pretzel bacon cheeseburger, pretzel pub chicken sandwich and bacon portabella melt promotions. Wendy's expects continued positive response in 2014 with the newly launched Mediterranean-inspired cheeseburger with bacon.
However, Wendy's attributed the growth in sales to a new "A Cut Above" consumer branding campaign to sell higher-end sandwiches.