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January 20, 2023

Compass Group Abandons Its Commitment To Ban Crates for Pigs

***UPDATE: On November 1, 2022, the world’s largest food service provider, Compass Group, confirms its commitment to eliminate gestation crates for pigs in its US supply chain by Summer 2023. This becomes one of the strongest animal welfare policies in the food sector and comes a few short months after Animal Equality launched a strong campaign against Compass Group and a week after the organization protested outside of Bank of America, a client of Compass, in Austin, TX. 

Compass Group will transition to end gestation crates in its US supply chain by Summer 2023. The company will provide regular updates on this progress. The policy also includes meaningful protections for chickens raised and killed for meat and a commitment to exclusively use eggs from hens not confined to cages.

July 21, 2022 – Yesterday, Animal Equality, a leading international animal protection organization, released a new campaign to call out Compass Group for not fulfilling its commitment to ban crates for mother pigs. This comes 10 years after Compass Group, the world’s largest food service company, made a public commitment in 2012 to ban these crates by 2017, but has yet to fulfill the promise it made to its consumers and the animals it supplies.

The multibillion-dollar company claims in its July 2021 animal welfare report that it did not meet its goal to eliminate cages for mother pigs by 2017 because of supply chain constraints that limited its ability to purchase meat from pigs from crate-free suppliers. The company further states that only 10% of the pigs it now sources and sells come from supply chains where crates are reduced, but not eliminated

Ten years after committing to stop buying meat from mother pigs in cages, Compass reports 90% of the pigs it sources and sells still come from mothers who spent four months locked up in a cage. This is physically and psychologically devastating for mother pigs.

Katie Arth, Int. Director of Corporate Outreach for Animal Equality

For the majority of the 6 million mother pigs in the United States, their lives are spent in 7-by-2 foot crates that are barely bigger than their own bodies. These female pigs are forcibly impregnated and give birth inside these metal crates, which are so small that the animals can’t even turn around and are unable to nurture their piglets. This causes not only physical suffering but extreme mental suffering, too. Professor Ian Duncan, a scholar of animal welfare at the University of Guelph, has described it as one of the cruelest forms of confinement devised by humankind.

Crates for mother pigs have been banned in ten states in the U.S. – Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon and Rhode Island – as well as in the United Kingdom and Sweden. Nearly 100 companies in the U.S. have also committed to banning these crates, including Aramark, Nestlé, Campbell’s, and Kraft Heinz. 

As the largest food service company in the world, Compass Group, and companies like it, have the responsibility and power to improve the lives of millions of farmed animals with these bare minimum standards. Even Compass claims, “As the world’s largest foodservice company, we have the scale, expertise and opportunity to change the world.” Animal Equality is launching this campaign to hold Compass accountable and to demand the company keep its commitment by banning crates for mother pigs.

For more information about Animal Equality’s Compass campaign, visit

Interviews available upon request:

Katie Arth
Int. Director of Corporate Outreach for Animal Equality
(424) 347-2126
[email protected]


Animal Equality is an international organization working with society, governments, and companies to end cruelty to farmed animals. Animal Equality has offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, and India.


Compass Group is the world’s largest food and support services company with its U.S. headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. Compass Group manages dining operations for over 10,000 colleges and universities, schools, corporations, senior living centers, hospitals, cultural institutions, and sports and entertainment venues nationally.

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