Tim Hortons called upon the pork industry and our suppliers to eliminate gestation stalls for sows and to develop clear plans and timelines by the end of the year to phase out these housing systems.

“We have also set a goal of purchasing at least 10 per cent of our eggs, representing significantly more than 10 million eggs, from enriched hen housing systems by the end of 2013,” the company said in a statement. “We plan to actively evaluate the industry's capacity to provide eggs from enriched housing systems, and to progressively increase our commitment beyond 2013 as additional supply becomes available.”

The company says it intends to give preferred sourcing to pork suppliers who have clearly documented plans to phase-out the use of gestation stalls, and egg suppliers working to phase-in enriched hen housing systems. Tim Hortons will share next steps in early 2013, after reviewing industry plans and having further dialogue with the egg and pork industries and other animal welfare stakeholders.

"We're calling for an end to gestation stalls for sows and to significantly increase the use of alternative housing systems for hens. We believe there are better, more humane and sustainable housing systems that can improve the quality of animals' lives. Striking a balanced, realistic solution for the farming community, which will need to make significant investments in new buildings, is also essential, and we fully recognize this will take time," said Paul House, president and CEO, and executive chairman, Tim Hortons Inc.

In addition to these major commitments, Tim Hortons is planning other animal welfare initiatives. In 2012, the company will commission scientific, fact-based animal welfare research with leading academic institutions on sustainable, humane animal housing systems. It also plans to call for a North American-wide summit of restaurant companies interested in the humane treatment of animals in the restaurant industry supply chain.

"We hope and expect that our initiatives can help speed up the process by which farmers and producers will phase out gestation stalls for sows and move to alternative hen housing systems, so they can in turn meet industry and guest demand for such products," added House.

These new initiatives build on our commitments announced earlier this year to source at least one per cent of eggs in our supply chain from enriched hen housing systems, and to work with the pork industry to develop long-term, realistic improvements in pork housing systems.  Tim Hortons is committed to achieving meaningful and sustainable progress in animal welfare in a way that reflects the company's and our guests' values.

Currently, the egg and pork industries do not have enough hens in enriched housing or sows not housed in gestation stalls to meet the restaurant industry's needs on a viable scale. Most hens and sows are not housed in these systems.

Source: Tim Horton's Inc.