At Dine Brands Global, we believe that by always striving to be better, we will get further, together. This value applies to every part of our business including our approach to responsible sourcing and animal welfare.
Our animal welfare policy is rooted in sustainable progress and accountability. We know research on animal welfare and the industry is constantly evolving and for us to achieve positive impacts we are:
- Constantly monitoring and assessing areas for continuous improvement in animal welfare through all aspects of our supply chain, including raising, handling, transportation and processing.
- Creating and executing objective measurement systems that are third-party verified.
- Committed to provide better transparency in our progress to drive positive outcomes.
- Collaborating with stakeholders both inside and outside the industry whose expertise we can draw on for guidance on our existing and future policies and implementation strategies. Dine is also forming a Sustainability Advisory Council in 2021 that will include suppliers, genetics experts, farm management consultants, academics and researchers.
We undertake an annual internal compliance review of our animal protein suppliers’ established animal handling procedures by requesting relevant third-party farm and plant animal audits, such as the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) harvesting audits, protocols developed by leading animal behaviorist Dr. Temple Grandin. By requesting that all suppliers submit their animal care policies, as well as relevant farm and plant audits on an annual basis, this guidance directs our practices as well as our selection of, and relationship with, sourcing partners.
Legal compliance makes up a key component of our policy and we require suppliers to meet all local laws, regulations and supplier codes globally. We expect all of our suppliers and employees to treat the animals they work with in a proper manner at all times and require our suppliers to comply with all laws put forth by all federal and local regulatory agencies.
Our promise as an organization is to unite communities over great food and memorable dining experiences. We believe our guidelines below bring our varied communities together around caring for our guests and the food supply for which we have great stewardship.
The Five Freedoms:
As we seek continuous improvements, we are committed to the Five Freedoms in guiding our overall approach to animal welfare through the supply chain:
- Freedom of hunger or thirst.
- Freedom from discomfort.
- Freedom from pain, injury or disease.
- Freedom to express normal behavior.
- Freedom from fear and distress.
We recognize that antibiotic resistance in humans and animals is a serious health concern and we fully support the action the FDA is taking to reduce the routine use of medically important antibiotics.
We are asking our chicken and pork suppliers to begin to prohibit routine use of medically important antibiotics as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), including prohibiting the use of these antibiotics for disease prevention.
We support animal production practices that reduce, and, where possible, eliminate the need for antibiotic therapies in food animals by adoption of best practices and /or new practices. Treating sick and injured animals and controlling an identified disease outbreak under veterinary supervision is important and are the only reasons for use of medically important antibiotics. We continue to work with our suppliers so that antibiotics are used judiciously, and their effectiveness maintained.
We will require annual third-party auditing and are asking our chicken and pork suppliers to track and report to us their antibiotic use for meat supplied to us. We have begun annually surveying our suppliers in order to report summary information and progress towards our goal in future reporting.
To improve the welfare of chickens in our egg supply and meet consumer desire to know more about the origins of their food, across both brands, we are committed to a U.S. egg supply that is derived 100% from hens housed in a cage-free environment by the end of 2025. As of August 2020, 5.2% of our total egg volume is cage-free.
Moving forward, as a way to provide our stakeholders and suppliers with some direction on how Dine Brands plans to meet its commitment to reach 100% cage-free U.S. egg supply by the end of 2025, as of December 2020, we are currently aiming to have at least 17% of our U.S. egg supply chain be cage-free by the start of 2022, 22% by the start of 2024, 31% by the start of 2025, and 100% by the end of 2025.
In Latin America, we are committed to 100% cage-free by the end of 2025 upon supplier availability and consumer affordability.
We are working closely with our suppliers in developing plans to make progress toward our goals and we will report our progress annually.
We are committed to sourcing pork for our domestic restaurants across both brands where U.S. suppliers use group housing systems.
We continue to survey our suppliers, and suppliers will be asked to provide annual progress reports on their efforts to comply with our plans as requested so that we may evaluate where each supplier is with regard to reaching our goals.
As of September 2020, 23% of our pork supply is gestation crate free, with 40% of our total pork supply utilizing group housing.