At Brinker International, the health and safety of our guests is always our top priority. In addition, we pride ourselves on serving Guests delicious, quality and fresh food - every day in every restaurant. We maintain a Supplier Code of Conduct, which outlines the minimal expectations of our suppliers to help us ensure safe and quality food for our Guests.
Our goal is to work with suppliers committed to upholding good animal welfare practices. Brinker International does not own, raise, transport or process farm animals, however, we can influence treatment and processes by carefully selecting our supplier partners. Research surrounding animal welfare practices is ongoing and continually evolving. We are committed to staying abreast of the topic and will continue to make business decisions for our brands with a full understanding of the most current information available.
Included below is an overview of our commitments to date on antibiotic use, cage-free eggs, farm-raised seafood, and group housed pork.
We recognize that antibiotic resistance in humans and animals is a serious health concern. Therefore, we fully support the action that FDA is taking to eliminate the use of medically important antibiotics for growth promotion and feed conversion. People, pets and farm animals sometimes become sick and we believe antibiotics should be available as a course of treatment as long as they are prescribed by a doctor or veterinarian. We will continue to work with our suppliers to ensure that antibiotics are used judiciously and only when necessary so that their effectiveness is maintained.
At Brinker, we are committed to responsible animal welfare practices in our supply chain. We are on a journey of continuous improvement with a commitment to staying up-to-date with the latest research. Though we do not manage animals directly, we are determined to do our part by ensuring that our selection of supplier partners has a positive impact on industry standards for animal welfare.
Over the years, we have proudly committed to sourcing cage-free shell eggs, sustainable farm-raised seafood and gestation crate free pork. We have identified our next step in chicken welfare is to address the treatment in broilers. We are working with our suppliers, farmers, animal welfare experts and other stakeholders with the goal of positively impacting broiler welfare by 2024 in the following areas:
We are committed to begin sourcing exclusively cage-free eggs*. As a bold first step, in July 2016, Chili's implemented the use of only cage-free eggs in all of our restaurants in the U.S. and Canada. We will continue to work with our suppliers of eggs and egg containing ingredients to make our supply chain 100 percent cage free by the end of 2025.
*Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC) is the leading non-profit certification organization dedicated to improving the lives of farm animals in food production from birth through slaughter.
We are leading the way to higher sustainability standards through our work with the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA), whose certification program has become one of the most influential forces in sustainably farmed seafood. All of our farm-raised seafood comes from certified, sustainable farms that follow Best Aquaculture Practices defined by the GAA. We work closely with the GAA to ensure our farmed seafood is sourced from BAP-certified facilities.
On the issue of sow welfare, our beliefs align with the following position by the American Veterinary Medical Association, which states:
Pork processors should provide housing that: (1) ensures good nutrition and, correspondingly, good body condition; (2) maximizes the health of the pig (i.e., absence of disease and injuries); (3) provides a good environment in terms of things like air quality, temperature and humidity; and (4) promotes good mental health (e.g., supports the expression of normal patterns of behavior and minimizes stress).
We acknowledge there are various ways to achieve our animal welfare beliefs outlined above, including implementation of sow group housing systems, sometimes referred to at "gestation crate free." In 2013, we achieved our goal of purchasing 100 percent of Chili's Baby Back Ribs from suppliers using sow group housing. We will continue to work with our suppliers to implement group housing systems for all of our pork products with a goal of completing this project by the end of 2025.