Ingles and Animal Welfare
Ingles is committed to supporting the humane treatment of animals. It is our belief that animals should be raised, transported, and processed in a manner that is safe, clean, and free from cruelty and neglect. To illustrate our support, we have adopted the animal welfare guidelines of the Food Marketing Institute. These guidelines are continuing to evolve as we work with independent experts in the areas of food safety and animal welfare to ensure that the safety of the food products sold in our stores is not compromised and that the animals that are processed into products sold at Ingles stores are treated humanely.
We support the globally-recognized “Five Freedoms” of animal welfare as a goal for animal welfare from our suppliers:
- Freedom from Hunger and Thirst – by providing ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigor.
- Freedom from Discomfort – by providing appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
- Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease – by ensuring prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
- Freedom to Express Normal Behavior – by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.
- Freedom from Fear and Distress – by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.
Ingles has policies that, when considering all factors, will give buying preference to vendors that adopt and implement the principals of the Five Freedoms encompassing housing systems, painful procedures and euthanasia in our meat and dairy products. We believe in good animal handling practices and we monitor our suppliers for compliance.
In addition, Ingles has joined The Humane Society of the United States in its campaign to end Canada's commercial seal hunt.
Ingles Markets associates and customers are passionate about Animal Welfare. As such, we will continue to partner with the Food Marketing Institute and industry programs to develop a collaborative approach to ensure ongoing improvements in animal welfare.
Ingles will support the industry-wide transition to cage-free hen housing by shifting its own egg sales to cage-free, joining a growing list retailers, restaurants, food manufacturers and egg producers that have announced similar plans.
Under the company's new plan, Ingles' goal is to have 100% of both the shell and liquid eggs it sells come from cage-free hens by 2025.
"Ingles supports the industry’s cage-free trajectory, and looks forward to working with our suppliers to achieve a cage-free supply chain,” said Ron Freeman, Ingles' Chief Financial Officer. "This shift represents a natural part of Ingles' ongoing work to ensure animals in our supply chain are provided with the 'Five Freedoms' of animal welfare, including the ability to engage in their natural behaviors."
The Humane Society of the United States supports Ingles' move.
"We applaud Ingles for addressing this important animal welfare issue," said Matthew Prescott, senior food policy director for The Humane Society of the United States. "This commitment to offer products that come at a value and align with consumers' values is a positive move for animals and customers alike."