Bloomin’ Brands continues to be the only company in the engagement with no policy on antibiotics. However, during this phase of the engagement, the company did respond to investor concerns regarding their lack of antibiotics policy by indicating that a policy is currently under development. No date of publication was provided.
Bloomin’ Brands operates around 1,488 restaurants across its main brands, both domestic and international, and all their brand concepts are focused on meat and dairy products. They have said that beef represents most of their global commodity procurement, and they primarily purchase from four suppliers for the U.S. market. According to the U.S. Federal Drug Administration, over 70% of medically important antibiotics in the U.S. are sold to cattle and swine producers, with cattle production consuming over 40% . Given its reliance on U.S. beef, Bloomin’ Brands’ lack of policy on this issue makes it vulnerable to any regulatory or market shifts to improve antibiotics stewardship. The company continues to lag behind U.S. peers, including in the casual dining sector, with several chains committing to eliminate medically important antibiotics from their supply chains.
We would encourage Bloomin’ Brands to:
- Establish a comprehensive antibiotics policy to phase out routine, prophylactic use of antibiotics across all livestock, poultry, seafood dairy and egg supply chains.
- Specify clear targets and timelines for implementation.
- Increase transparency by reporting on implementation, including mechanisms to measure and audit the use of antibiotics in supply chains.
Our work is underway, and we will announce our strategy when the plan is completed.
See the company’s response to the engagement here.