XOXO to Sodexo – For Taking a Stand for Millions of Hens

By on February 19, 2015 with 11 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

Today, with Sodexo, we are announcing that the giant food service company has committed, over the next five years, to switch all 20 million pounds of its liquid eggs to cage-free. The company manages dining operations at thousands of colleges, universities, hospitals, and corporate dining centers across the country. Due to its enormous size, this will remove 750,000 hens from battery cages per year and put them into cage-free settings. This announcement comes after prior announcements from the company to switch to cage-free for its 39 million shell eggs – which provides a better living for an additional 150,000 birds.

When I talk about the humane economy, I refer to companies doing good for animals while also doing good for their bottom line. The Sodexo announcement fits into this framework – making improvements in its supply chain that show its customers that it cares about shared values. In turn, its customers reward the company with greater loyalty and support.

The only announcements in the food sector to affect this number of animals or more came from Burger King and Unilever’s (Hellman’s) cage-free commitments, and from Whole Foods Market’s precedent-setting animal welfare policy, which says that its animal products will eventually be certified under the standards of the Global Animal Partnership. (Whole Foods is the largest buyer of GAP products, and nearly 300 million farm animals are already covered under this certification program).

Sodexo’s action is noteworthy not only because of its scale, but also its timing. Within the last six months, we’ve seen major announcements from Nestlé, Heinz, and Starbucks on the farm animal protection front, including a move away from battery cages.

Sodexo’s updated animal welfare policy covers other issues as well. Within two years, all its veal will come from operations that have abandoned cruel crates. It is reinforcing its previous pledge to eliminate gestation crates within the next seven years. And it is also taking on painful procedures typically done without pain relief, such as castration, tail docking, and dehorning.

I’m a firm believer that corporations have so much untapped power to do good for animals. Sodexo’s staff believed they have a duty to honor animal welfare values, and they are making good on that by making dramatic changes in their procurement practices. We hope their stellar work inspires others, whether in the food or fashion or scientific sectors of the economy, to make good decisions when it comes to the treatment of animals.

Farm Animals

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  1. Rebecca Bailey says:

    Is it true cage free or is it 750000 living in a small area pecking each other to death? AKA Marketing ploy

  2. Tom DiCarrado says:

    This makes my day…

  3. beatta abdah says:

    How many calves will live tormented lives in five years? Feels like lip service.

  4. Debbie Bounds says:

    Quote: “I’m a firm believer that corporations have so much untapped power to do good for animals.” No truer a statement have I heard. This is where our donations go in case anyone is wondering. Your voice alone is of little value but when you “speak” as a large organization such as HSUS, people and organizations tend to listen. Good work HSUS

  5. M P says:

    Wow after being pressured/exposed by the public they finally said they will do the humane thing, yet animals will still have two more years of suffering before this is actually even implemented. I don’t think they should get any praise at all, they wouldn’t have changed if not for pressure by the public and their $profits suffering.

  6. Dave says:

    so let me get this straight. 750,000 hens will continue to live in windowless sheds with their beaks mutilated, forced to produce an unnatural amount of eggs, and then be brutally slaughtered after their production drops in 2 years or so?

    and sodexo will continue to profit from the use and abuse of these 750,000 individuals?

    seems to me that sodexo is not “doing good for animals “. sodexo and its suppliers are continuing to do very bad for animals.

    and we are doing bad for animals by promoting it.

    “We, at Sodexo, believe that abusing 3 quarters of a million birds slightly less/ differently is important because, as it turns out, it’s more profitable.”

  7. Melissa Jones says:

    Ppl plz do your reseatch before u bash a good company. One of the reasons they cannot commmit to immediate change is because there are not enough places that produce these types of cruel free products. With the announcement demand will increase for it then supply will increase, resulting in more suppliers producing these products. The company will start immediately in areas they have the suppliers. Be patient it will happen & hopefully push other companies to make the same commitments and it wont take the full 5 yrs
    I can promise to serve organic brussel sprouts everyday but if i dont have access to them i cant serve them in my restaraunt, its companies like this will push it so smaller vendors will have access- get it??

  8. jamie says:

    this gives me hope in humans ,that maybe they have heart

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