Papa John’s International

FAIRR Commentary

PJI has a U.S. antibiotics policy on chicken and a general UK antibiotics policy, which the company shared in their response to FAIRR.  The policies are not available online, but PJI has indicated that it plans to make these public by Summer 2019.  The company has committed to going beyond FDA guidance by adopting a no antibiotics ever approach for all chicken sourced for US operations, and has set individual targets for its pizza toppings, poppers and chicken wings.  For UK operations, PJI’s policy commits to using antibiotics only for disease treatment under veterinary supervision. However, it is unclear how the company is implementing its policy and supplier compliance appears to be monitored by internal audits only.

FAIRR Recommendations

We would encourage Papa John’s International to further strengthen their programme by:

  • Extending their policy to cover all relevant animal-derived proteins where antibiotics is prevalent, and all suppliers across relevant jurisdictions.
  • Setting targets and timelines for implementation in the UK and indicating the timeline by when their specific commitments in the US will be achieved.
  • Committing to third-party audits and clarify how these audits are and will be rolled out across all relevant markets and species to ensure supplier compliance.
  • Reporting more comprehensively and publicly on implementation progress including antibiotics use.

Company Comment

  • Over 75% of the domestic chicken supply is no antibiotics ever (NAE)/Veg Fed and 100% of the domestic supply of grilled chicken and poppers are no antibiotics ever (NAE)/Veg Fed.
  • Greater than 65% of the domestic wing supply is no antibiotics ever (NAE)/Veg Fed. Papa John’s will continue to work toward a full conversion of the wing supply to be antibiotic free. We are committed to move to 100% antibiotic free chicken wings as soon as we have enough supply available but supply of this product continues to be a constraint on this item.
  • Papa John’s commitment to antibiotics covers all chickens sourced for U.S. operations. Grilled chicken, poppers and wings are the only chicken items the company purchases in the U.S.
  • Papa John’s is committed to sharing its U.S. and UK antibiotics policies on its website by Summer 2019 to continue to update progress and be more transparent.
  • Papa John’s UK antibiotics policy is included in this response and states, in part, “ Given the stringent controls for the use of medicines in farm animals in EU Regulations, it is our policy that our ingredient partners must source their raw meats only from EU licenced facilities and farms, meeting strict standards for Food Safety, Quality, Traceability, Provenance and Animal Welfare, and in compliance with EU Animal Welfare and Medicines regulations. We require our partners to audit their suppliers of meats and other ingredients to ensure that both the Legal Requirements and our Standards are adhered to.”
  • Papa John’s does not disclose the quantity of antibiotics used. We are not aware of anyone doing this currently.
  • 100% of Papa John’s U.S. Domestic protein suppliers are audited annually. Part of the audit is to ensure animal welfare audits are on file and up to date. Moving forward, poultry audits will include verification of NAE/Veg Fed certifications for all suppliers.
  • Papa John’s continues to discuss animal welfare and antimicrobial stewardship policies with our suppliers, with a goal to contribute to the reduction of the use in antibiotics in farm animals to the absolute minimum. We also consult regularly with industry experts to align with current trends which shows antibiotic use in cattle and hogs will continue to slowly decline over time, but is unlikely to be totally phased out anytime soon, particularly in cattle. A more judicious and well-regulated use of antibiotics is quickly becoming the norm in the livestock industry.

See the company response to the engagement here.