Specifically, Gordon Food Service requires the following from our live animal processing suppliers:
- Documented animal welfare policies and procedures, in conformance with applicable laws and regulations, based on industry standard guidelines regarding the humane raising, handling, transportation and processing of animals.
- Regular internal audit and documentation of conformance to their animal welfare policies.
- Completion of annual third-party audits, administered by Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization (“PAACO”) or equivalent certification auditors, for facilities where live animals are processed. Audits must validate adherence to sound, science-based industry standards with regard to humane live animal handling from the farm through processing.
- Swift corrective action plans for any non-conforming practice(s) identified.
In addition to these requirements, Gordon Food Service expects our suppliers to continuously improve their processes to benefit the well-being of animals, which could include but are not limited to:
- Offer cage-free eggs from each of our distribution centers throughout Canada.
- Work with suppliers toward a 100% cage-free egg offering in Canada by 2026 based on available supply, affordability, and customer demand.
- Elimination of veal crates and conversion of facilities to group housing without tethering.
- Elimination of gestation crates and conversion of facilities to group housing.
- Encourage pain relief under the guidance of a Veterinarian under a Valid Veterinary Client Patient Relationship (VCPR) during tail docking and castration of piglets.
- Continuous review of handling practices that ensure good health and welfare of broilers and parent stock from hatchery, farm grow out, catch/transportation, and processing.
- Exploration of emerging technologies like Controlled Atmosphere Killing systems (CAK) or Low Atmospheric Pressure Stunning (LAPS) while taking into account the religious requirements for Halal and Kosher.
- Promote elimination of tail docking.
- Promote elimination of dehorning and complete disbudding as early as practically possible, while horn development is still at the horn bud stage (typically 2-3 months from birth), with required pain relief under the guidance of a Veterinarian under a Valid Veterinary Client Patient Relationship (VCPR).
Engaging in sound, science-based animal welfare procedures and continuous improvement practices results in a balanced approach that benefits the animals, the supply chain, and our customers.