Burger King says it will start buying eggsÂ from suppliers who donâ€™t confine chickens to cages.Â The chain already purchases 10 percent of its pork from crate-free suppliers.
Burger King isÂ the world’s No. 2 hamburger chain (behind McDonald’s) with more than 11,100 restaurants inÂ more than 65Â countries. This news came out after Burger King Corp. product safety manager Steve Weiffenbach reportedlyÂ sent two letters inÂ March to theÂ People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) organization — a strong lobby group — detailing the company’sÂ new supply guidelines. No information about this move has yet found its way to the Burger King Corp. U.S. investor relations site.
This move can have a significant impact on the farms that rely on Burger King contracts to sell their pigs and chickens. However, the percent of its products that will actually be cage-free is relatively small. Only 2 percent of its eggs in 2007 will be from hens not confined to small cages;Â it will be 4 percentÂ the end of 2007. Â Additionally, BK says it willÂ double the amount of crate-free pork it buys, fromÂ 10 percent toÂ 20 percent.
Burger King follows the pace set byÂ the 39-restaurantÂ Burgerville chain.Â Burgerville went cage-free in January. It alreadyÂ purchases sustainable ingredients and locally grown produce, and has branded itself for these strategies.Â Â Â
1) IsÂ goingÂ “cage-free”Â being used as a marketing ploy?Â
2) What ripple effect do you see for the worldwide economy in relationship to this trend?
3) Burger King’s stock, traded at BKC, is down 42 cents today. What furtherÂ impact do you think we’ll see on its stock price as a result of this news?