When it comes to animal health and well-being, we have taken an intentional and detailed approach from the start—from being one of the first restaurant chains to establish animal care principles and requirements to auditing our suppliers against the daily needs of the animals and working with industry leaders to regularly review and improve our policies. This still guides us today and is the driving force behind the components of our welfare and sourcing program, including the Wendy’s Animal Care Standards Program.
We believe the best food starts with the best ingredients, which come from Wendy's suppliers who share in our vision. We only source chicken, beef and pork from animals raised for high-quality meat from suppliers who meet or exceed our standards for animal care, quality and food safety.
For us, this means making investments like:
- Market hogs raised for sausage and bacon; not sows (or mother pigs) raised for breeding
- Cattle raised specifically for high quality beef grades such as Prime or Choice
- Broiler chickens that adhere to our smaller-bird size requirement as part of our commitment to quality and animal well-being
The same attention to animal care, quality and food safety applies to our sourcing of eggs and dairy.
Wendy's was founded on fresh beef, so knowing the ins and outs of the way our beef makes it to our restaurants is vital to ensuring safe and satisfying meals for our customers. We are proud of our fresh beef supply chain, but we still want to know more about our entire protein supply chain so we can verify animal care, identify improvement areas and ensure the highest safety and food quality standards are met. This desire for traceability and transparency spans our menu and underpins our responsible sourcing goal, including the Wendy’s Animal Care Standards Program.
Developing partnerships with suppliers who are driven by the same values we are—suppliers who believe that providing for the daily needs of the animals is the responsibility of all of us—is an important component of our approach to animal care. Becoming a Wendy's protein supplier partner means best-in-class programs; a willingness to collect, report and share data and enthusiasm to join us on a journey of continuous improvement.
Our suppliers provide:
- A balanced diet, designed by animal nutritionists, to support animal health and natural growth
- An environment where animals are comfortable and well cared for
- A safe environment to prevent injury or disease and swift treatment to minimize or mitigate pain
- Protection for animals from abuse, neglect or mistreatment, and ensuring buildings and processes support animals’ natural instincts
Our industry-leading animal welfare program ensures the welfare of the animals we rely on to provide our food, and we’ve started work to further strengthen it by implementing the Wendy’s Animal Care Standards Program across our protein supply. 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.
Since 2001, Wendy’s has convened an Animal Welfare Council to shape our policies and help drive us forward. We have recently enhanced the council to bring in expertise in auditing, animal science, wellbeing and behavior, with specialties across our key protein categories. We also consult with public interest groups to ensure we benefit from a range of perspectives and push to continuously meet customer expectations.
We believe that responsible animal care guided by a veterinarian is essential to producing high quality, safe food, while also enhancing consumers’ trust and confidence in the food we all share. We also believe that sick animals deserve to be treated and that antibiotics should only be used to treat illness. In 2016 we set a long-term goal to phase out the routine use of medically important antibiotics on the farms that supply us, and we’ve recently laid out key milestones to help us achieve it.