Animal care considerations have been a core element of Wendy’s quality assurance and supply chain practices for decades and many of the requirements we’ve developed for our suppliers have set the standard for the quick-service restaurant industry. We are guided by our long-standing relationships with progressive industry experts, many of whom serve on our Wendy’s Animal Welfare Council, and our data-based approach to animal welfare. Over the last two years, we have expanded the council to include expertise in auditing, animal science, well-being and behavior, with specialties across our key protein categories. We tasked the council with helping us raise the standards we apply to our protein supply chain and the process for driving continuous improvement. In 2020, we announced the first milestone of that effort, the Wendy’s Animal Care Standards Program.
To inform the development of new standards, the Wendy’s Animal Care Standards Program uses a detailed assessment tool that allows us to recognize progressive suppliers, better track farm conditions and animal care and quantify the results. While we've always audited, for the first time we are cataloguing the animal welfare best practices of all protein supply facilities, including 15 measures of welfare. We began implementing the program in 2020 by piloting the framework and validating the metrics to ensure its effectiveness in establishing new, even higher standards. By the end of 2024, Wendy’s expects to have a comprehensive accounting of animal welfare best practices for beef, pork, chicken, eggs and dairy. This new level of visibility will allow us to identify progressive work and give preference to suppliers who go the extra mile — like our suppliers that are studying the impact of lighting on broiler chicken behavior or reducing the use of medically important antibiotics, meaning antibiotics important for treating human disease, in our beef and pork supply chains.
Suppliers will be assessed annually in the following areas, with scores adjusted for demonstrating progress in traceability and transparency, antibiotic use, stocking and housing conditions and euthanasia and stunning.