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Kroger, Albertson's Applaud FMI's Animal Welfare Guidelines

CINCINNATI and BOISE, Idaho - The Kroger Co. and Albertson's on Friday said separately that they continue to support the Food Marketing Institute's development of an animal welfare program and will require their suppliers to adopt the program's "best practice" guidelines when they are issued by FMI in early summer.

FMI began reviewing the issue of animal welfare in 2001 at the request of its member companies, including Kroger, Albertson's, Safeway and others. Last June, FMI teamed up with the National Council of Chain Restaurants (NCCR) to jointly address animal welfare issues.

During the past 12 months, FMI and NCCR have been working with their members and leading animal welfare experts to develop science-based guidelines that will strengthen animal welfare practices across species.

"We look forward to the guidelines that will be part of the FMI/NCCR report," said Lynn Marmer, Kroger's group vice president for corporate affairs. "We strongly believe this joint industry effort, with retailers and restaurants working together with leading animal welfare experts, will make more progress in the humane treatment of animals than what any company could achieve by acting alone. Kroger has supported the FMI/NCCR Animal Welfare Program since its inception and we will continue to support its ongoing research, technical review and engagement of the scientific community."

"The involvement of the chain restaurants -- including McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King and others -- in the Animal Welfare Program has been very beneficial," Marmer added.

"Animal welfare is a very important issue not only for our company but to many of the customers we serve," said Ertharin Cousin, Albertson's senior vice president of public affairs. "Albertson's will continue to support the FMI/NCCR ongoing research, technical review and engagement of the scientific community."
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