Are you curious about where your food comes from?
Specifically, where does Kroger source its pork products?
As the largest grocery chain in the U.S., Kroger is known for its commitment to quality and transparency in its supply chain. But with recent concerns over meat shortages and deceptive labeling, it’s important to know exactly where your food is coming from.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at where Kroger gets its pork products and what steps they are taking to ensure the welfare of the animals in their supply chain.
So, let’s dive in and explore the journey of Kroger pork from farm to table.
Where Does Kroger Pork Come From?
Kroger sources its pork products from some of the biggest meat suppliers in the U.S., including JBS USA, Tyson Foods, and Smithfield Foods. However, during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Kroger had to limit purchases of fresh pork and ground beef due to meat shortages caused by these companies halting operations in their slaughterhouses.
To ensure the welfare of the animals in their supply chain, Kroger has committed to phasing out the use of pig gestation crates by 2025. This commitment will affect more than 2,000 stores across 35 states and has been praised by animal rights non-profit World Animal Protection.
But where do these pigs come from? According to Kroger, their pork products are locally produced on farms and supplied to their stores. However, a recent class action lawsuit alleges that Kroger beef is deceptively labeled as a U.S. product when in many cases, it should be considered an import.
So, while Kroger may be committed to transparency in their supply chain, it’s important for consumers to do their own research and ask questions about where their food is coming from.
Kroger’s Commitment To Ethical Sourcing
Kroger has established a Responsible Sourcing Framework that defines their policies, requirements, and practices, including their Animal Welfare Policy. This policy articulates their expectation that all suppliers will have transitioned away from gestation crates by 2025. While Kroger is not directly involved in raising or processing any animals, they are committed to protecting the welfare of animals in their supply chain.
Kroger’s animal welfare strategy and implementation is overseen by a multidisciplinary internal committee with representation from the company’s Corporate Food Technology, Ethics and Compliance, Meat, Dairy and Egg Sourcing, and ESG teams. They work closely with their key suppliers to understand animal welfare topics and make progress together toward their commitments. Kroger also engages with animal welfare groups such as the Humane Society of the United States.
In addition, Kroger joined the Global Coalition for Animal Welfare (GCAW), which is the world’s first industry-led collaboration aimed at advancing animal welfare standards throughout the global food supply chain. This demonstrates Kroger’s commitment to not only improving animal welfare in their own supply chain but also promoting it on a global scale.
From Farm To Processing Plant: The Journey Of Kroger Pork
Kroger’s pork products start their journey on local farms across the United States. These farms focus on raising pigs in a humane and sustainable way, ensuring the animals are well-cared for throughout their lives. Once the pigs are ready for processing, they are transported to regional processing plants.
Kroger works with a variety of processing plants, including those owned by JBS USA, Tyson Foods, and Smithfield Foods. These plants are responsible for turning the pigs into various pork products such as bacon, sausage, and pork chops.
During processing, the meat is inspected to ensure it meets Kroger’s quality standards. Once approved, the pork products are packaged and shipped to Kroger stores across the country.
It’s important to note that Kroger has implemented strict guidelines for their suppliers to ensure the welfare of the animals and the safety and quality of their products. This includes regular audits of farms and processing plants to ensure compliance with these guidelines.
Kroger’s Animal Welfare Standards For Pork Production
Kroger has an established Responsible Sourcing Framework to clearly define its policies, requirements, and practices, including their Animal Welfare Policy. The policy articulates Kroger’s expectation that all suppliers will have transitioned away from gestation crates by 2025. Kroger has also issued an animal welfare policy statement in 2012, stating that the industry should work towards gestation crate-free pork production.
While Kroger is not directly involved in raising or processing any animals, they are committed to helping protect the welfare of animals in their supply chain. Kroger expects its suppliers to adhere to their animal welfare standards, which include providing pigs with adequate space, proper ventilation, and access to clean water and food. The company also requires that pigs be given proper medical care and that they are not subjected to unnecessary pain or suffering.
Kroger was one of the first grocery store chains to commit to transitioning to cage-free eggs with plans to reach the goal by 2025. The company has also committed to sourcing 100% of fresh pork sold in retail stores from suppliers that house sows in group housing systems by 2025.
Kroger’s commitment to animal welfare standards for pork production is a step towards more humane treatment of animals in the food industry. However, it’s important for consumers to continue advocating for animal welfare and transparency in the food supply chain.
Traceability And Transparency: How Kroger Tracks Its Pork Products
Kroger is committed to traceability and transparency in their pork supply chain. The company uses a combination of technology and partnerships with suppliers to track their pork products from farm to store.
One of the key technologies used by Kroger is blockchain. By using a blockchain-based system, Kroger can track the movement of their pork products through the supply chain in discrete “lots”. This enables them to trace the origin of each product and ensure that it meets their standards for quality and safety.
Kroger also works closely with their suppliers to ensure that they meet their standards for animal welfare and sustainability. The company has a set of guidelines for suppliers that cover everything from the use of antibiotics to the treatment of animals. They also conduct regular audits of their suppliers to ensure that they are meeting these guidelines.
In addition, Kroger has partnerships with organizations like World Animal Protection and the Humane Society to promote animal welfare in their supply chain. These partnerships help Kroger to stay up-to-date on best practices for animal welfare and to ensure that their suppliers are meeting these standards.
The Importance Of Knowing Where Your Food Comes From
Knowing where your food comes from is crucial for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it allows you to make informed decisions about the quality and safety of the food you are consuming. By understanding the source of your food, you can ensure that it meets certain standards for animal welfare, environmental sustainability, and ethical production practices.
In addition, knowing where your food comes from can help you support local farmers and businesses. By purchasing locally sourced products, you are not only helping to strengthen your community’s economy but also reducing the carbon footprint associated with transporting food long distances.
Furthermore, understanding the origin of your food can help you make healthier choices. By choosing foods that are grown or raised in a responsible manner, you can ensure that they are free from harmful chemicals and additives.
Finally, knowing where your food comes from can help you connect with the broader food system and appreciate the hard work that goes into producing the foods we eat. This knowledge can foster a greater sense of respect and appreciation for the people and processes that bring food to our tables.