Sobeys Animal Welfare Approach
As members of the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC), Sobeys is committed to the respectful treatment of all livestock animals within our supply chain. We source live-stock derived proteins—such as beef, milk, eggs, poultry and pork—through processors and distributors who, in turn, are supplied by a wide range of, primarily, Canadian farms.
Each livestock commodity has its own trade association and regulatory requirements that cover animal welfare and food safety. Each association has its own code of practice and care assessment programs that we stay well informed on.
In March 2016, Sobeys announced that we will work with our suppliers in the egg industry to transition to a completely cage-free egg offering in our stores by the end of 2025.
This change in egg sourcing will improve the welfare of millions of laying hens by allowing them to better express natural behaviours. For example, it will provide more room for the hens to walk around freely, to spread their wings, and provide access to nests and perches.
The transition to cage-free housing will require time and investment from the Canadian egg industry. New barns will need to be designed and built, equipment will need to be installed and most producers will need to be trained on the new production process.
Sobeys continues to support the industry-wide ban of gestation crates and is working with our pork suppliers to replace existing gestation crates with group housing by 2024.
Sobeys is publicly supportive of the Veal Associations of Quebec and Ontario’s plan to transition producers that utilize individual stalls for veal production to group housing. We are proud to report that we have met our commitment, and as of December 2018, 100% of our fresh veal offered comes from suppliers that have transitioned to group housing.