Taking Good Care

Taking Good Care

earth made out of produce

Animal Welfare

At Sprouts we believe that bettering animal welfare is a part of good business. We recognize our responsibility to ensure the welfare of farm animals throughout our supply chain with respect to their physical, behavioral, and mental well-being. We are working to establish and implement meaningful animal welfare standards across our meat supply chain. As part of this process, aimed to improve animal welfare, we are engaging our suppliers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and other relevant stakeholders to ensure our policies and targets for continuous improvement are progressive, meaningful, and help drive the industry forward.

Chicken – Commitment to Welfare and Quality

We are taking a phased approach to improving broiler chicken welfare meaningfully and measurably. We are working collaboratively with our industry partners to meet the following targets for our meat department and deli rotisserie chicken.

By 2024
  • Improve the environment for chickens including litter, lighting, and enrichments as per the Better Chicken Commitment standards. These changes are designed to encourage the natural behavior of chickens such as pecking, scratching, exploration, and play.
By 2025
  • Reduce stocking density to 6.0 lbs./sq. foot and prohibit broiler cages to allow chickens more room to move about.
By 2026
  • Process chickens in a manner that avoids pre-stun handling and instead utilizes a multi-step controlled-atmosphere processing system that induces an irreversible stun (CAS). This more humane technology is intended to provide a less stressful experience and contribute to improved animal welfare, better processing conditions, and higher quality meat.

Chicken Welfare Roadmap

Current Progress and Goals

BCC Components 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026
CAS Processing 17% 24% 35% 60% 65% 100%
Friable Litter 17% 24% 60% 100%    
Lighting 17% 24% 60% 100%    
Physical Enrichments 17% 24% 60% 100%    
Stocking Density (6.0 lbs./sq. ft.) 60% 66% 70% 75% 100%  
We also recognize the welfare issues experienced by conventional breeds of chickens raised for meat production and will monitor developments as research continues to evolve. We will continue to look for ways to adopt higher-welfare breeds in our supply chain. We will also update our progress annually and verify compliance with our goals through 3rd party audits.

Sprouts Pork Welfare Commitment

By the end of 2024, 75% of the whole and processed pork sold in our meat department will be sourced from group-housed or gestation-crate free housing systems, with a goal to reach 100% by the end of 2025. In group-housed systems, after pregnancy is confirmed (typically 4-6 weeks), sows are moved to an open-pen where they are free to move around and socialize for the remainder of their term. We are actively working with our suppliers to reduce time in confinement during the breeding phase of production. Moving to a gestation-crate free supply over time is our goal. In 2022, 61% of our whole and processed pork sales were sourced from group-housed or gestation-crate free systems (45% and 16% respectively), while 100% of our Sprouts brand whole pork product was sourced from group-housed systems. We will continue to provide annual updates on our progress in this area on our website and/or ESG report.

Laying Hens

In 2016, we committed to sourcing 100% of our eggs from cage-free, free-range, or pasture-raised production systems by 2022. We’re proud to share that we met our goal and have expanded our sourcing from higher welfare free-range and pasture-raised egg production systems to 65%. With more room to roam, these birds are better able to socialize and exhibit their natural behaviors.