At Blue Apron, we are committed to driving positive change in the way animals raised for food are treated and providing our customers with high quality ingredients to enjoy incredible culinary experiences at home. As part of our commitment, we have partnered with some of the world’s foremost animal welfare experts and our meat, poultry and egg suppliers to develop better standards for raising animals throughout our supply chain. The culmination of these efforts has led to this Animal Welfare Policy, which we are proud to share with you.
At the core of our Animal Welfare Policy is the “Five Freedoms,” a set of principles adopted by the World Organization for Animal Health that seeks to ensure the physical and mental well-being of animals under human control. The Five Freedoms are:
• Freedom from hunger, malnutrition and thirst;
• Freedom from fear and distress;
• Freedom from physical and thermal discomfort;
• Freedom from pain, injury and disease; and
• Freedom to express normal patterns of behavior.
In line with these principles, we are increasingly working with and supporting meat, poultry and egg suppliers that are not only committed to caring for their animals’ physical well-being, but that also provide enriched environments that allow their animals to exhibit natural behaviors. As a result, we are adopting standards that are informed by the Five Freedoms and are working to implement those standards with our meat, poultry and egg suppliers, with further support from Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), a leading expert in farm animal welfare.
Where We Stand Today
Animal welfare is an important priority of our business, and we are proud to share the results of our efforts to date across our supply chain. As of today:
Laying Hens (Eggs)
100% of our fresh eggs come from pasture-raised laying hens. By comparison, less than 1% of the eggs sold in the U.S. today are pasture-raised.*
100% of our pork comes from pigs raised in group sow housing systems or in systems that do not use gestation crates. By comparison, it is estimated that less than a quarter of U.S. sows are raised in group housing systems today or in systems without gestation crates.**
40% of our beef comes from grass-fed cattle that were raised entirely on pasture. By comparison, less than 6% of the beef sold in the U.S. today is grass-fed and pasture-raised.*
Poultry (Broiler Chickens)
Over 10% of our broiler chicken supply is pasture-raised*** by a Global Animal Partnership (GAP) Step 4-certified producer utilizing higher welfare breeds. Our remaining broiler chicken supply is raised in enhanced welfare indoor systems with 100% vegetarian feed and without the use of antibiotics ever. Today, less than 1% of chicken sold in the U.S. is pasture-raised*, and an even smaller percentage is both pasture-raised and GAP Step 4-certified.
None of the animals in our supply chain are ever given subtherapeutic antibiotics. Additionally, we require that all of our meat, poultry and egg suppliers promptly treat animals in the event that they become sick and their welfare requires it.
None of the animals in our supply chain are ever given growth promoters, such as added hormones****, subtherapeutic antibiotics, or beta-agonists.
We are committed to further improving the welfare of animals raised throughout our supply chain. Below are some of the goals we have set for ourselves to achieve in the coming years.
100% of our pork supply today comes from pigs raised in group sow housing systems or in systems that do not use gestation crates, and by the end of 2019, 100% of our pork supply will be Certified Humane or GAP Step 1-certified.
As mentioned above, 40% of our beef supply today comes from grass-fed cattle that were raised entirely on pasture. By the end of 2019, we are committed to ensuring that 50% or more of our beef supply comes from grass-fed cattle raised entirely on pasture.
Poultry (Broiler Chickens)
We are working toward 100% of our broiler chicken supply meeting the following standards by the end of 2023:
• Transition to strains of birds that demonstrate higher welfare outcomes that meet the criteria of the RSPCA Broiler Breed Welfare Assessment Protocol or GAP.
• Reduce stocking density to a maximum of 6 lbs./sq. ft. and provide birds enriched environments that, at a minimum, meet GAP Step 4 standards on litter, lighting and enrichment.
• Process broiler chickens in a manner that avoids pre-stun handling and instead utilizes a multi-step controlled atmosphere processing system that induces an irreversible stun.
• Demonstrate compliance with the above standards via third party auditing.
Currently, more than 10% of our broiler chicken supply today meets or exceeds these standards, with the exception of the controlled atmosphere processing system requirement.
All Meat and Poultry
In addition, by the end of 2019, 100% of our beef, pork and broiler chicken supply will come from sources that meet GAP Step 1, Certified Humane, or higher standards.
Our Commitment to Transparency and Accountability
Our commitment to animal welfare guides the sourcing decisions we make for all animal based foods in our supply chain. This commitment is shared across our organization, with oversight from our Senior Vice President of Consumer Products, and its implementation is the responsibility of our Vice President of Food Safety and Quality Assurance and our Director of Category Management.
We have processes in place for ensuring that all of our meat, poultry and egg suppliers live up to the standards described above, such as by requiring them to adhere to recognized third party animal welfare certification standards or pass a supply chain audit conducted by us or a third party on our behalf. Some of the recognized third party certifications that our meat, poultry and egg suppliers hold are GAP and Certified Humane.
We look forward to providing updates on our work, including specific progress toward implementing our goals, in the future.
Last Updated: June 20, 2018
* Based on Nielsen sales data for time period from 6/2/17 to 6/2/18
** Estimate according to The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC)
*** Blue Apron defines pasture-raised for broiler chickens as animals raised with access to pasture during the day, provided such access does not negatively impact their welfare, such as in the event of extreme weather conditions.
****Federal law prohibits the use of added hormones in poultry and pork.