NORTHBROOK, Ill. – Atlantic Premium Brands, a national distributor of pork products, announced plans to eliminate gestation stalls from its supply chain by 2017.

“Atlantic Premium takes animal welfare seriously, and wholeheartedly endorses the transition from gestation crates to group housing for pigs, which is the direction many of our pork suppliers are already moving in,” said Thomas M. Dalton, president and chief executive officer. “Like many of our customer partners and others in the food industry, we too are putting in place plans to have a gestation crate-free supply chain by 2017, which is the date by which many leading pork producers will be gestation crate-free.”

Atlantic Premium Brands counts among its customers Walmart, HEB, Kroger, Costco, Win Dixie, Sam’s Club, Safeway, and SUPERVALU. The company also makes Blue Ribbon Smoked Sausage, Richard’s Cajun Favorites Smoked Sausage, Tejano Gold, Texas Traditions Premium Sausage, Carlton Sausage and various private label brands.

“We welcome Atlantic Premium’s work to improve animal welfare in its supply chain, and are glad to see it joining the list of major food companies working with their pork suppliers to end the confinement of pigs in gestation crates,” said Matthew Prescott, food policy director for The Humane Society of the United States. “At a time when so many retailers are rising to the public’s demand for improved treatment of pigs, Atlantic Premium’s commitment is both ethical, and a smart business move.”