DuBreton said demand for humanely-raised pigs was outsourcing supply "in many markets where we trade".

DuBreton said demand for humanely-raised pigs was outsourcing supply "in many markets where we trade".

DuBreton, the Canadian pork processor, has announced plans to raise more pigs "humanely" with a pledge for 300,000 more of the animals to be housed crate-free by 2018.

The privately-owned firm said it was spending C$30m on the move, which it claimed would support its "vision to be the world leader" in organic pork and products Certified Humane Raised and Handled. The certification is granted by US non-profit organisation Humane Farm Animal Care.

Vincent Breton, the company's president, said the pledge "expands our commitment" to humanely-raised pigs. "Compared to commodity or traditional farming practices, it costs us 50% more to raise Certified Humane pork and more than double to raise an organic pig. The result is the highest quality pork possible, and as this translates into only a slight increase at retail, we believe it is well worth the cost to preserve the dignity and respect of the animals in our care. Obviously, consumers agree as demand is outpacing supply in many markets where we trade."

DuBreton supplies retailers including Sobeys and Whole Foods Market. It also supplies to foodservice operator like Chipotle Mexican Grill.