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Animal Welfare

Harris Teeter celebrates the diversity of its shoppers and the opinions our shoppers have on food issues. We strive to serve each shopper at the highest level possible. Although Harris Teeter does not own or operate any animal processing facilities, it does assess its suppliers each year and uses the information to continually seek improvements in animal welfare for the products sold in its stores. Harris Teeter also believes in transparency around animal welfare issues and finds it valuable to include its shoppers in this discussion about the higher welfare foods available in its stores. As such, Harris Teeter is proud to share the following information with you.

Poultry, Chicken and Turkey:
In its meat department, Harris Teeter is purchasing some of its chicken meat from producers using higher welfare, on-farm practices that are Certified Humane or Global Animal Partnership-certified and using an alternative and more humane processing method called “Controlled Atmosphere Stunning” or “Controlled Atmosphere Killing” (CAS or CAK). Both the CAS/K systems Harris Teeter supports through this initiative are approved by Dr. Temple Grandin, a world-renowned animal welfare specialist. Harris Teeter also purchases some of its turkey meat from animal welfare-friendly CAS/K producers and gives purchasing preference to suppliers using animal welfare-friendly, controlled-atmosphere processing systems.

Smart Chicken, Certified Humane, Bell and Evans, Global Animal Partnership

Cage Free EggsPoultry, Cage-Free Eggs:
Harris Teeter believes it is important to provide better welfare for animals including egg-laying hens and continues to bring attention to cage-free eggs. On this issue, Harris Teeter is the leader among conventional grocery chains. Harris Teeter set a goal of ensuring 12% of its egg volume is represented by cage-free eggs in 2012, and surpassed that goal in 2011— a year early. The company currently offers two types of cage-free Harris Teeter Naturals eggs and gives buying preference to cage-free eggs. For 2012, 20% of the eggs sold at Harris Teeter were sourced from cage-free hens; the company plans to increase this percentage over time until Harris Teeter exclusively sells cage-free eggs.

Look for cage-free signs in our stores today!

Harris Teeter knows there are better, more humane, and more sustainable ways to breed pigs than by using gestation crates, which have been long-criticized over animal welfare concerns. We sell Niman Ranch pork, which has always been crate-free and has higher welfare, on-farm practices that are Global Animal Partnership-certified. It is Harris Teeter’s goal to have a gestation crate-free pork supply, and the company is committed to working with its suppliers such as Smithfield to accomplish that goal within a reasonable and feasible timeframe.

We are also pleased to share that Smithfield, for example, has committed to phase-out the use of gestation crates at its facilities by 2017, and Harris Teeter will continue working to ensure all fresh pork products sold at the company are gestation crate-free. 

All Harris Teeter milk comes from cows not treated with rbst/rBGH, and in 2012, 23% of total milk sold at Harris Teeter is USDA Certified Organic. We sell Organic Valley dairy products and encourage shoppers to try our Harris Teeter Organic Milk as well. Harris Teeter requests its milk suppliers undertake an animal welfare evaluation, such as the National Milk Producer Federation’s FARM program, Certified Humane or similar.

Harris Teeter Rancher® beef and Harris Teeter Reserve® Angus beef are supplied by producers using a third-party monitoring system throughout the production process which ensures compliance with the American Meat Institute’s (AMI) animal welfare audit system, written by Dr. Grandin. The AMI system prioritizes animal welfare during handling to produce quality products and maintain respect for animal well-being.

In the meat department of some Harris Teeter stores, we also offer family-owned and operated DK Natural Meats. DK Natural Meats are raised without the use of steroids, antibiotics or growth hormones. We encourage you to try the Certified Organic Grass-fed Beef from DK Natural Meats, a USDA Certified Organic product with unsurpassed taste and texture. In 2012, Harris Teeter also began sourcing its Harris Teeter Naturals® Beef from Meyer Natural Angus, a beef company that has received the "Certified Humane" designation from the Humane Farm Animal Care program.

In some Harris Teeter stores, the company sells bison from Carolina Bison by DK Natural Meats, a family-owned and operated company located in North Carolina. For more information about Carolina Bison, click here.

Harris Teeter is currently and will continue to work closely with the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the National Council of Chain Restaurants (NCCR) to develop an industry-wide program that will strengthen food quality and safety. Our suppliers are required to monitor their handling of livestock and poultry, as outlined by the guidelines provided by the American Meat Institute.

For more information on our partner organizations please visit: