Domino’s Pizza rejects HSUS-sponsored food resolution
While fast-food chains like McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s are quickly complying with the demands of the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) by changing their food practices and policies, one retailer rejected a recent resolution proposal made by the animal rights organization.
Domino’s Pizza shareholders overwhelmingly rejected a request to study ending the use of pork from suppliers who confine pregnant pigs in crates. Some fast-food companies, including Burger King, McDonald’s and Wendy’s, have pledged to phase out the use of pork from such suppliers, but the HSUS-endorsed resolution failed in a vote by 80 percent, with 4 percent in favor and the remaining 16 percent abstaining from the vote.
HSUS commonly buys stock in retail companies, Domino’s included, in order to push its agenda at shareholder meetings. HSUS has an annual budget of $130 million, which they use to target farmers and ranchers.
According to Domino’s, “The American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians have published statements indicating there are advantages and disadvantages to both cage-free and caged pork production methods. We rely on animal experts to determine what is the best way to raise an animal that’s being used for food.”
To celebrate Domino’s support of America’s farmers and ranchers, a nationwide “pizza party” was launched by Missouri hog farmer Chris Chinn. The goal of the event is to show Domino’s appreciation for relying on animal care experts, not animal rights activists, when creating their food policies, by purchasing a pizza from the company. A flier was created to help spread the word about why agriculture will continue to support the company.
“It’s important to show our consumers that we care about animal welfare,” said Mike Davelaar, salesman for Quality Liquid Feeds, Brandon, SD. “Domino’s is taking the time to check with industry experts to make sure that what they are being asked to do is in the best interests of the livestock that we care for. I hope this campaign shows other companies and consumers that doing the right thing is just that – doing the right thing. They deserve to be recognized for making actual animal welfare the priority.”
The goal of the pizza party is simple – show your appreciation for a company that supports agriculture.
“Consumers need to let companies like Domino’s know that they noticed them doing it the right way, and patronize them for that. I think a lot of companies see the PR machine that is the HSUS and just fold. They are an intimidating group,” Davelaar said.
HSUS has vowed to bring the resolution back to the Domino’s shareholder meeting next year.
“Voting down these resolutions is actually quite common, and we in agriculture need to make sure that we start showing appreciation to those companies that are willing to take some time to look into situations before jumping on a sensationalism bandwagon,” he added. “I am not supporting the idea that this is farmers and a restaurants against groups like HSUS and PETA who are constantly badgering companies to make changes with shareholder resolutions. Instead, I am simply saying thanks to Domino’s for turning to the experts first. If they do this and have reasonable evidence to move forward in a similar manner as HSUS proposed, I will be fully satisfied as the matter was fully investigated first.”
Davelaar challenges producers to spread the word and continue to support Domino’s in the weeks and months to come.
“Pass this message along because it’s important that Domino’s knows we appreciate their stand,” he stressed. “I love positive feedback. I have no reason to believe that they are any different. We can show our appreciation by buying a pizza. We both get to win on that point. We hope this event gets legs.”
Editor’s note: For more information on the agriculture pizza party, to access the PDF flier to take to a local Domino’s, or to follow the results of the event, check out Chinn’s blog at http://www.justfarmers.biz/blog/2012/05/10/526/.