Strack & VanTil, Family Express, Jewel-Osco remove Fair Oaks Farm products over animal abuse video

CHICAGO — Several grocery store chains are taking a stand against Fair Oaks Farms after an undercover video made public showed some of their employees treating calves cruelly.

Jewel-Osco announced Wednesday afternoon that it was removing all Fairlife products from its shelves. The company said it, strives to maintain high animal welfare standards across all areas of its business.

“At Jewel-Osco we strive to maintain high animal welfare standards across all areas of our business, and work in partnership with our vendors to ensure those standards are upheld,” Jewel-Osco spokeswoman Mary Frances Trucco said in a statement.

Officials at Strack & Van Til also said they are pulling Fairlife items off the shelves until they get more of the story.

“We have pulled them off the shelf until we get more of the story,” Chief Marketing and Merchandising Officer Michael Tyson told WGN News.

Family Express also announced they will discontinue products sold by Fairlife, and will be replaced by Organic Valley products.

On its website, Family Express issued a statement saying,

In light of the events that have recently been uncovered at Fair Oaks Farms, Family Express has decided to discontinue all products sold by fairlife, LLC (a partnership between Coca-Cola and Select Milk Producers Inc.) from our stores. The exposé of animal abuse in the Fair Oaks Farm network is chilling. A factor in our decision was the public response by Fair Oaks, asserting the notion that this was an isolated incident. This is hardly the response you would expect from an organization that gets it. The minimizing of the graphic animal cruelty offers little assurance of change in a culture that is likely in need of fundamental retooling.

The graphic video, which began circulating Tuesday, was released by Animal Recovery Mission, or ARM. The group had one of its members hired as a calf care worker in order to conduct an undercover investigation from August to November of last year.

The investigator captured several Fair Oaks employees engaged in extreme animal cruelty including calves being thrown, kicked, stabbed, beaten and burned. Fair Oaks Founder Mike McCloskey said all these employees have either been fired or barred from the facility.

“I am and will continue to be deeply involved in the resolution of this matter, down to every one of our employees, so that I can guarantee that these actions never again occur on any of our farms,” he said in a statement.

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