Sustainable Sourcing

Subway® proudly serves communities across the globe and is committed to choosing supply chain partners that support high standards for environmental, animal and worker welfare.


Working with our franchisee owned, Independent Purchasing Cooperatives and Companies (IPC), the Subway® brand is committed to achieving sustainable and ethical sourcing and supply chain management. We support principles of responsible farming, fishing and animal husbandry - for the long term sustainability of the earth's natural resources and communities across the globe.


Below in our Progress section you will find more information on our approach and actions taken to uphold our Responsible Sourcing standards.

Committing To Reducing Our Environmental Footprint

We understand that many of our customers want to buy products that support their local businesses and economy and where there are opportunities to buy products locally, we take advantage of them. Where this is not possible, it is our policy to source globally with integrity while delivering great value for money on products for our customers. We currently source the majority of our meat from Europe. When it is necessary to source outside Europe, suppliers must meet all EU standards and laws as a minimum requirement.

Responsible Palm Oil Sourcing

Palm oil is used as an ingredient in very few Subway® products due to its high quality, desired baking characteristics and because it supports our initiative to eliminate added Trans fats. We believe that best practice today is to source palm oil from RSPO members (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil). We endorse the RSPO as the primary sustainability standard for palm oil products.

Supplier Code of Conduct

We have stringent audit processes that we enforce throughout our supply chain as well as require that our suppliers’ employment practices meet our Supplier Code of Conduct and Supply Chain Employment Practices Policy. Our code of conduct prohibits forced labour/slavery as well as establishing our expectations for employment, workplace practices, compensation and benefits, discrimination, health and safety. We are working towards making the safeguards of our supply chain more robust. We are also working with our suppliers to ensure compliance to these standards and to ensure that none of our products are directly or inadvertently associated with human trafficking or slave labour.

Animal Welfare

Subway® believes that where our ingredients come from and how our animals are bred, raised, transported, and slaughtered are integral to preparing great food for our guests. Our consumers and stakeholders expect sourcing practices to reflect the highest standards. Subway’s® animal welfare policy outlines our commitment to meeting our stakeholders' expectations.

Our animal welfare policy is founded on the Five Freedoms principles proposed by the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) on the protection of animals kept for farming purposes.

As part of our ongoing commitment to improving animal welfare throughout our supply chain, we are happy to be working with Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), a widely recognized global leader in animal welfare.  In collaboration with CIWF, we will continue to evaluate emerging and evolving systems and practices to advance long-term improvements in animal welfare throughout our global supply chain.


Subway® takes the issue of antimicrobial resistance seriously and believes that responsible stewardship of antibiotics in the raising of farm animals is an essential component of our commitment to responsible sourcing. Our policy is that antibiotics can be used to treat, and control disease, but not for growth promotion or routine disease prevention of farm animals. Antibiotics are never used to promote growth or used prophylactically. Subway® has developed a Global Antibiotics policy – in line with the World Health Organization (WHO) – for the responsible use of antibiotics within our supply chain and to address antibiotic overuse in animal protection. The Global Antibiotics Policy aligns to WHO recommendations to eliminate the use of antibiotics that are important to human health.


Click here to read our Animal Welfare Policy

Click here to read our Global Antibiotics Policy


Responsible Research

Subway®’s research processes and those of our partners are confidential for competitive reasons. However, Subway® does not conduct or fund research – including research funded by Subway® but performed by third parties – that utilizes any cloned organisms. Furthermore, any meat, dairy, poultry, fish or egg derived from a cloned animal, including subsequent generations, must not be used in Subway® menu offerings.


Responsible Sourcing Progress

Subway® is committed to constantly improving and doing our part to take care of the planet and communities around the globe.


We’ve ensured that all palm oil used in Subway products in Europe comes from certified sustainable sources (RSPO) and that our all eggs in Europe are free range.


We encourage you to continue to check this page as we regularly update our progress.

Broiler Chickens

Subway® European Chicken Commitment

At Subway®, we take the welfare of our chicken supply seriously. In 2021, we signed the European Chicken Commitment (ECC), which requires our suppliers* to review current practices and meet the standards for 100% of the chicken* in its European managed supply chain.


What is Subway®’s commitment?

Subway® made a commitment that it intends to adhere to the ECC with the understanding that achieving the ECC standard will require industry-wide change. We also commit to participate in industry wide roundtables and deep-dive into the ECC with our suppliers to map out a feasible roadmap for transition. Subway® continues to work closely with Compassion in World Farming and its supply chain with the intent to create a viable roadmap to achieve long term change.


We can’t do this alone, and with the support of the industry and our suppliers we will continue to monitor our progress against six requirements to help transform 100% of chicken* welfare for the better in our European supply chain. Signing up to the European Chicken Commitment isn’t a tick box exercise, we do it because we believe in the need for better chicken welfare, and the safety and quality of our product.


Where do we stand after a year?

Subway® requires suppliers to report on their chicken welfare and we have committed to assessing progress through supplier questionnaires, third party assurance certifications and site audit reports. Listed below, is an update on the progress we’ve made to date since joining in July 2021.

  • Nearly 40% of broiler chickens that are reared at stocking densities of 30kg/m2
  • Approx 40% of broiler chickens provided with specific environmental enrichment such as natural light
  • 44% of broiler chickens provided with specific environmental enrichment such as perches and pecking substrates
  • 13% leg cull rate in each year
  • Nearly 50% of third-party auditing


The six ECC requirements:

1. Comply with all EU animal welfare laws and regulations, regardless of the country of production.

2. Implement a maximum stocking density of 30kg/mor less. Thinning is discouraged and if practiced must be limited to one thin per flock.

3. Adopt breeds that demonstrate higher welfare outcomes: either the following breeds, Hubbard Redbro (indoor use only); Hubbard Norfolk Black, JA757, JACY57, 787, 957, or 987, Rambler Ranger, Ranger Classic, and Ranger Gold, or other breeds that meet the criteria of the RSPCA Broiler Breed Welfare Assessment Protocol.

4. Meet improved environmental standards including:

  • At least 50 lux of light, including natural light.
  • At least two metres of usable perch space, and two pecking substrates, per 1,000 birds.
  • On air quality, the maximum requirements of Annex 2.3 of the EU broiler directive, regardless of stocking density.
  • No cages or multi-tier systems.

5. Adopt controlled atmospheric stunning using inert gas or multi-phase systems, or effective electrical stunning without live inversion.

6. Demonstrate compliance with the above standards via third-party auditing and annual public reporting on progress towards this commitment.


Statement of Intent

Electrical waterbath stunning is the main method used globally for the slaughter of poultry. There are, however, significant animal welfare concerns with this method and in 2012 the European Food Safety Authority called for an end to its use[1]. Effective electric alternatives are yet to be developed. However, recognising that under halal standards, Controlled Atmosphere Systems may not be accepted as the animal must not be dead at the time of slaughter (cutting), it is a bare minimum that a stunning method which renders the animal insensible to pain, but still alive, is developed and adopted as soon as possible –


We Subway® agree to:

  • Actively press our suppliers and support the latest research projects[2] to find alternatives to electrical waterbath as a matter of urgency;
  • Support the call for the use of water bath stunning to be banned by 2026, and new, more humane systems for the effective electric stunning of poultry without conscious inversion to be developed and commercially available by no later than 1st January 2026;
  • Commit to investing and adopting such a stunning method (without conscious inversion) as soon as it is commercially available.

*This applies to all fresh, frozen and processed chicken in Subway's® European managed supply chain

[1] ESFA 2012 report, pg 35

[2] For example, by engaging with the Effective Electrical Stunning roundtable convened by Compassion in World Farming


Subway® supports the elimination of gestation crates and we will work with our global suppliers to align our entire pork supply chain with a transition toward group housing. We have completely phased out gestation crates in our European supply chain, and we expect to reach similar milestones in the US by 2022 and Latin America by 2025.


Subway® seeks to transition our entire global dairy supply chain to be free of the supplemental growth hormone, rBST, and this goal has been accomplished in the US.

Responsible Antibiotic Use

Subway® recognises the importance of antibiotics in human and animal medicine, and the risk of their misuse. Our approach is to encourage meat suppliers and their producers to optimise animal welfare, hygiene, husbandry and biosecurity as part of a broader animal stewardship programme and avoid the need for antibiotic treatment unless the health and welfare of an animal is compromised. Every veterinary medicine used must be approved for use by the regulatory authorities and must be administered by a qualified vet. Strict withdrawal times are applied to ensure any medicine residues do not enter the food chain. Antibiotics are never used to promote growth or used prophylactically.

Cage-Free and Free-Range Eggs

Subway® seeks to transition our entire supply chain to egg procurement practices with improved animal welfare outcomes.* 

In Europe, the Middle East countries where we operate, Australia, and New Zealand, 100% of the eggs we purchase are either free-range or cage-free.

  • In 2021, we procured nearly 6.5 million eggs from these improved welfare outcome systems in these regions, which is 800,000 more than we procured in 2020 increasing our impact year over year.
  • In Europe, Subway® has been sourcing free-range eggs since 2013, winning “Good Egg Awards” from Compassion in World Farming (CIWF).
  • In the Middle East, we have been sourcing 100% free-range eggs since 2015 across United Arab Emirates and Oman.
  • In Australia, we have been sourcing cage-free eggs since 2014.

We are committed to sourcing 100% cage-free eggs where feasible by the end of 2025.

  • Across North and South America in 2021, we procured approximately 11 million cage-free eggs, an increase of about 1.3 million cage-free eggs when compared to our 2020 procurement totals in these regions.

In regions where supply is limited, we are committed to working with the industry and suppliers to find solutions to source cage-free or free-range eggs.

*Subway® does not manage operations, marketing or supply chain in countries that are managed by an independent master franchisee.





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