New York City, NY, Nov. 16, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — More companies than ever are making global commitments towards cage-free production, according to the sixth annual EggTrack report by Compassion in World Farming.
The report, which tracks the progress of major food businesses against their cage-free egg commitments, shows that more companies have made global pledges during the last year. These include Pizza Express, Yum! Brands, Bloomin’ Brands and more. The expansion of commitments beyond regional policies is strongly encouraged by the animal welfare and environmental charity.
Of the 232 companies in the 2022 EggTrack report, 175 (75.4%) now report progress towards their cage-free commitments, an increase from 71% in 2021, with an average 79.1% transition to cage-free. Of the companies that reported global progress, their cage-free sourcing increased by an average of 7.9 percentage points from 55.2% in 2021 to 63.1% in 2022.
In the United States, 34.8% of the national flock is cage-free—up from 28.6% a year earlier and 10.1% in 2016—according to the latest monthly data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Seventy-nine out of 118 (66.9%) U.S. companies are now reporting, compared to 61% in 2021. They are increasingly setting and reporting on their cage-free goals, and there remains a sense of urgency around progressing this transition to ensure companies can meet their deadlines. Three U.S.-only operating companies met commitments this past year, including Raley’s and Sprouts Farmers Market, which are 100% cage-free. Meijer is 100% cage-free for its Own Brands and maintains its 2025 commitment to all eggs. Zero U.S.-only operating companies missed commitment deadlines.
“Despite ongoing supply chain challenges—from the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, effects of inflation, and losses due to recent cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI)—it’s fantastic to see an increase in global commitments as these help improve the lives of so many animals,” said Julia Johnson, U.S. Senior Food Business Manager, Compassion in World Farming. “Companies have persisted in increasing cage-free egg purchasing and implementing best practices. Their transparent reporting is the cornerstone of EggTrack and allows the entire industry to move forward together to improve animal welfare.”
One company that has successfully achieved 100% cage-free production throughout its global business and which provides this year’s Foreword for the EggTrack report, is Danone.
Cees Jan Hollander, Global Farming Expertise Manager at Danone, commented: “Danone has been working on animal welfare for many years, embedding it as a key pilar of its regenerative agriculture strategy. When we took our commitment to cage-free eggs and egg ingredients in 2018, we knew it wouldn’t happen overnight and that we would need to work closely with our suppliers. But we persisted and reached our target of 100% cage-free eggs and egg ingredients in 2020.
Tracking and reporting our progress are important ways to hold ourselves accountable inside and outside our company, answering consumers and investors’ growing demand for transparency and improvement, via benchmarks like the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW). What’s exciting is that thanks to tracking from Compassion in World Farming, we can see that cage-free eggs are swiftly becoming the industry standard.”
Compassion in World farming advises that to achieve 100% cage-free production, companies must address all egg types in their commitments (including shell eggs, egg products and ingredient eggs) and ensure the cage-free systems they transition into are fit for purpose (exclusive of combination and limited access systems).
As the global egg industry is shifting towards cage-free production and implementation deadlines are quickly approaching, it is essential that companies effectively collaborate with their suppliers to ensure their value chain is on track for fully implementing cage-free commitments by the expected deadlines.
“Compassion in World Farming strongly encourages companies to develop roadmaps and publicly report progress toward implementation annually,” continues Johnson. “Cage-free production is a smart investment, as consumer and corporate demand will only accelerate this global trend.
“Our Food Business team stands ready to work with companies to ensure that their customers’ expectations of their 100% cage-free goals are met,” Johnson added.
For more information or to schedule an interview, please email Ronnika.McFall@ciwf.org.
Notes to Editors:
Compassion in World Farming launched EggTrack six years ago to track and encourage companies’ progress toward their commitments to transition purchasing to 100% cage-free eggs. The report is intended for use by conscious consumers, industry stakeholders, and those in the business responsible for the day-to-day implementation and decision-making processes needed to achieve cage-free goals, namely buying teams, executives, supply chain managers, and sustainability experts. The report includes an interactive website that displays the progress of each company compared to its competitors. Follow the cage-free conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at #EggTrack. To learn more, visit www.eggtrack.com.
Compassion in World Farming was founded in 1967 by a British dairy farmer who became horrified at the development of intensive factory farming. Today Compassion is a global movement dedicated to ending factory farming and achieving humane and sustainable food. With headquarters in the U.K., we have offices across Europe, the U.S., China and South Africa. To find out more about Compassion in World Farming, visit www.ciwf.com.
CONTACT: Ronnika A. McFall, APR Compassion in World Farming USA 631-710-8224 email@example.com
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