Darden Restaurants, the parent company of restaurant chains Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Eddie V’s and Yard House, intends to transition its entire pork supply to come from farms that do not use gestation crates.
The company, on its website, revealed that it has committed to work toward a goal of having all of its pork products come from crate-free farms by the end of 2025 as part of its animal welfare program.
“Darden takes animal welfare very seriously,” the company stated. “We have a responsibility to ensure that animals are treated with respect and care in the process of providing nutritious food that is served in our restaurants.”
Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, Darden Restaurants owns and operates more than 1,500 restaurants that generate $6.8 billion in annual sales.
Darden announced its decision to move to transition to crate-free pork in the same animal welfare statement in which it announced that it would transition to cage-free eggs at all of its restaurants by 2018.
Both initiatives, according to Darden, are in keeping with the “Five Freedoms” of animal care platform. Those freedoms are:
- Freedom from hunger and thirst
- Freedom from discomfort
- Freedom from pain, injury or disease
- Freedom to express normal behavior
- Freedom from fear and distress