Philadelphia-based Aramark, the nation's largest food service company, has won a top award from an animal welfare group for its commitment to improve conditions for animals in its supply chain.

Aramark has been named recipient of the 2012 Henry Spira Humane Corporate Progress Award from the Humane Society of the United States for the company’s work in its supply chain to help improve conditions of farm animals confined in crates and cages.
“Working in partnership with our suppliers, Aramark is taking steps to help move the entire food industry toward improved conditions for animals," said Kathy Cacciola, Aramark's senior director of environmental sustainability. "These actions exemplify Aramark's long-standing commitment to responsible business practices in the industries we serve.”
In 2012, Aramark announced that it plans to eliminate all pork from animals bred using gestation crates from its U.S. supply chain by 2017. It also announced that it will source all shell eggs within the U.S. from cage-free hens by the end of 2014.
Josh Balk, director of corporate policy for the Humane Society of the United States, said he hopes that other major food service companies will follow the Aramark model.
“These awards recognize the critical role that the marketplace plays in addressing animal issues and reinforces our commitment to the integration of humane principles within business and industry,” Balk said.
The Corporate Progress Awards are given in memory of Henry Spira (1927-1998), the pioneering animal advocate whose collaborative approach to issues succeeded in persuading many major corporations to join with animal protectionist advocates in pursuit of common interests.
The award recognizes and celebrates corporations, individual businessmen and woman and others for their contributions to the advancement of animal welfare and to inspire others to include humane concern for animals as a core aspect of corporate responsibility.
Other companies that received the Corporate Progress Award for their work improving animal welfare in 2012 include Burger King, CeeTox, Sodexo and Consumer Specialty Products Association.