New program sets high standard for animal welfare in institutional food purchasing
Farm Forward, a leading animal-welfare nonprofit, has launched a program intended to leverage the buying power of institutions to change the way animals are raised for food. Bon Appétit Management Company is proud to be an inaugural member of Farm Forward’s new Leadership Circle — as by extension are its hundreds of corporate, education, and museum clients as well as its public restaurants in 33 states.
“These institutions are leaders in aligning values-based purchasing,” says Ben Goldsmith, Executive Director of Farm Forward. “Through thoughtful procurement policies, they are improving the welfare of farmed animals while meeting their customers’ demands for more ethical and sustainable products.”
Farm Forward has a long history of working with farmers and consumers to help change the way animals are raised for food, by promoting conscientious food choices that reduce farmed animal suffering and advance sustainable agriculture. Members of the Leadership Circle have committed to purchasing only third-party certified higher-welfare products in at least one product category, like eggs, within two years.
Bon Appétit switched its supply of shell eggs companywide to third-party-certified cage-free back in 2005. It then completed transitioning its precracked (liquid) eggs to Certified Humane in 2016 — the only food service company currently to have done so.
Bon Appétit’s current egg sourcing already qualifies the company and its clients, including Case Western Reserve University, Vassar College, the Institute of American Indian Arts, The Thacher School, and many others, for the Leadership Circle. Members also commit to support farmers raising animals under even more optimal conditions, and in doing so, help to rebuild a network of sustainable farms in America. Bon Appétit campus teams and Farm Forward will work together to support farmers raising animals in highest-welfare conditions — for example, hens that are raised on pasture — continuing and supporting Bon Appétit’s pioneering Farm to Fork network.
“We’re honored to be part of the Leadership Circle and excited to work with Farm Forward to help responsible farmers get preferential treatment in the marketplace,” said Bon Appétit Chief Strategy and Brand Officer Maisie Ganzler.
The Leadership Circle is an official partner of the Real Food Challenge, helping colleges and universities that have signed the Real Food Campus Commitment source more humanely raised animal products to meet their commitment by 2020. Farm Forward’s Leadership Circle program is funded in part by the Open Philanthropy Project and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.