Noodles & Company has announced a new commitment to expand and strengthen farm animal welfare within its US supply chain.
In partnership with Compassion in World Farming, the company is making a long-term commitment to improved living conditions for its entire broiler chicken supply by 2024, as well as detailing specific sourcing requirements addressing welfare concerns for other species such as laying hens, dairy cows and pigs.
"From its first day of business, Noodles & Company has expected its suppliers to meet or exceed all industry standards regarding farm animal welfare and safety," said Dave Boennighausen, interim Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer. "We pride ourselves on our commitment to providing our guests with delicious, freshly cooked food made from the best ingredients, and we recognize that humane animal farming practices are both critical to ensuring sustained food safety and high quality, and an important consideration for informed consumers."
Rachel Dreskin, Compassion's US Food Business Manager added: "We are proud to support Noodles & Company's announcement to meaningfully progress its work to address the welfare of the animals in its supply chain. This includes their commitment to improve the lives of the millions of meat chickens in their supply chain — their most impactful commitment to-date. We applaud this tremendous step forward and look forward to continuing to partner with Noodles & Company as they continue along this journey."
Broiler chicken welfare: By 2024, the Company will align its supply chain with the Global Animal Partnership's (GAP) Broiler Chicken Standards to achieve the following:
- Moving to breeds of birds approved by GAP that drive significantly higher welfare outcomes
- Reducing stocking density to GAP-approved levels
- Providing birds with improved environments, which include litter, lighting and enrichment that meet GAP's new requirements
- Moving to a more humane practice of slaughter by implementing a multi-step controlled atmosphere processing system
- Demonstrating compliance with these standards through a vigorous third-party audit system
Dairy cow welfare: Cows used in the production of milk to make its cheddar jack, feta, Parmesan, and Montamore cheeses, as well as its butter and cream, currently comply with the National Milk Producers Federation FARM program, which mandates:
- No tail docking. In instances when disbudding is performed, effective pain management is administered by veterinary professional
- Detailed written procedures, overseen by a veterinary professional, for management of injured and non-ambulatory animals, as well as euthanasia
Pig welfare: The Company will continue to work with its pork suppliers to eliminate the use of routine tail docking and teeth clipping.
The Company already has achieved 100 percent gestation crate-free pork and 100 percent cage-free eggs.