Oscar Mayer To Eliminate Gestation Crates From Supplier Chain By 2022

Oscar Mayer To Eliminate Gestation Crates From Supplier Chain By 2022

Gestation crates are an unfortunate practice among pork producers.  They’re small cages that keep pigs basically immobile.  So small are they that pregnant sows are completely unable to move.  That’s a sad existence for any animal.  There’s been a movement of late for states to ban the practice (most recently my old home state of Rhode Island) and producers to phase out suppliers using them.Oscar Mayer To Eliminate Gestation Crates From Supplier Chain By 2022

Oscar Mayer, a Kraft Foods brand, has joined the ranks of several other major food companies, pledging to source its pork from suppliers that don’t use the cruel crates.  Their timeline isn’t exactly blistering but given the logistics of large supply chains we’d venture to say any improvement on this score is a good one.  Over the next 10 years the company will phase out suppliers and by 2022 they will be gestation crate-free.

“At Oscar Mayer, we believe quality meat begins with quality animal care. We are committed to finding better ways to keep animals healthy and in a safe environment while treating them with respect,” – Sydney Lindner, the Associate Director of Oscar Mayer Corporate Affairs in a press release.

The Humane Society, who has been very active working with major food companies to eliminate the crates, applauded the move.  Paul Shapiro, the Humane Society’s vice president of farm animal protection, believes that Oscar Meyer’s decision “sends a strong message to pork industry leaders who are resisting change.”

McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Hormel, Denny’s, Safeway, and Compass Foods are among manufacturers who’ve already made similar moves, pledging to phase out suppliers who maintain the practice in similar time frames.  Kraft is the second largest food supplier in the world, so the move is not insignificant.

These 10 Companies Control Most (Well Almost) Everything You Buy

While on my little vacation in the warm and sunny climes of Las Vegas I decided it would a neat idea to throw myself off the top of the Stratosphere.  Let me explain that a bit, lest you think I have a death wish.  The Stratosphere is an 1149 foot tall tower, the 9th tallest freestanding structure in the US.  That’s tall.  In 2010 they installed a ride called SkyJump.  They harness you to an enormous cable that’s hooked to a very large spool.  You jump.  And fall.  855 feet.  It’s not quite a free-fall, the cable sees to that.  It is however, horrifying.  I have a terrible, paralyzing fear of heights.  This was an attempt to scare myself out of that. Not sure how that worked out but when’s the next time I can honestly say I jumped off a building?

After that we wandered Freemont Street a bit and then made our way home.  On the way home we were looking for somewhere to stop for razors and Wal-Mart came into view.  We were all fairly on board that we weren’t interested in stopping there because it’s a terrible corporation.  That lead to an enormous drawn on discussion on what company owns what, who we won’t buy from – on and on.  In my searching last night I came across this infographic which nicely details ownership of brands.

A huge majority of major brands are controlled by just 10 multinationals.  A French blog Convergence Alimentaire put the infographic together.  While the information is slightly out of date (Pringles was sold to Kellogg’s in February) it’s quite eye-opening.  It’s also very nicely produced.  Check out the image below – click on the picture to get the full size version.  (We’d hope that many of you reading are buying outside the box, as it were, but some of this stuff is just impossible to avoid purchasing.)

Think that trend is limited to just food?  Nope.  Six companies control over 90 percent of media outlets.  There were 50 in 1983.  Automobile and truck manufacturers?  VW owns thirteen brands worldwide.  The rest of industry is equally tied together.  How about your money?  Mother Jones reported that 37 banks merged into four in just about two decades. While I’m sure corporations would love to expound on the virtues of economies of scale, the truth is that less competition and more of the products you buy day in and day out come from fewer and fewer sources.