Animal welfare

At General Mills, we care about animal welfare – and we support the humane treatment of animals in agriculture.

Our focus extends in various ways to how animals are raised and treated, including:

Pork production
General Mills supports the development of pregnant sow housing alternatives. Though we recognize that the development and implementation of alternative systems may be a long-term process that could take up to 10 years, we will favor pork suppliers that provide actionable plans by 2017 to create traceability and end their use of gestation crates within the U.S. pork supply chain.

Egg production
We acknowledge the discussion about egg production and the impact on egg-laying hens.  

On Häagen-Dazs – General Mills’ largest international business – General Mills is working with suppliers in Europe to increase the volume of eggs available from free-range hens.  As a result, we now expect to source 100 percent free-range eggs for all Häagen-Dazs products produced in Europe in 2013, while continuing to support and source local ingredients from local farmers and suppliers.

To encourage the development of alternative production methods in the U.S., General Mills purchased one million eggs from cage-free hens for our U.S. retail operations in 2012.

Milk production
Along with other Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) members, General Mills is working with farmers associations in Europe to ensure that all animals are:

  • Free from hunger, thirst and malnutrition
  • Free from discomfort
  • Free from pain, injury and disease
  • Free from fear and distress
  • Free to engage in normal patterns of animal behavior

In the U.S., General Mills’ Yoplait was the first leading yogurt company to source only milk produced by cows not treated with the synthetic growth hormone rBST. General Mills’ Häagen-Dazs products in Europe are also produced using only cream and milk from cows not treated with rBST.

General Mills agrees with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that judicious use of medically important antibiotic drugs can help preserve the effectiveness of these drugs as therapies for humans and animals. For that reason, we do not support routine use of antibiotic drugs to promote growth in livestock, and believe such drugs should be used only as necessary and appropriate to maintain the health of animals.

Animal testing
It has long been General Mills’ policy to restrict and/or minimize the testing of food products and food ingredients on animals other than humans. As a result, the vast majority of our products do not incorporate testing of any kind on animals, other than humans, and we do not conduct research on animals, other than humans, in company laboratories.