I’m excited to announce today that Hilton Worldwide is going to switch to buying exclusively cage-free eggs and gestation crate-free pork after working with The HSUS. This is another major step forward in our efforts to eliminate cage confinement for laying hens and mother pigs. And it’s the latest in a cascade of major announcements from the biggest names in hotels, food service companies, fast food chains, and restaurants.
According to the terms of the joint announcement with The HSUS, all hotels in the Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, and DoubleTree by Hilton brands will switch to only using cage-free eggs by the end of 2017. The hotels will switch to only using pork products from suppliers who house breeding pigs in groups, rather than gestation crates, by the end of 2018. Hilton will initially apply these reforms in 19 countries where products are currently available and will adopt them in additional markets as supply comes online.
We’re now seeing entire segments of the food industry eliminate these extreme confinement practices from their supply chains. The world’s biggest hotel chains—Hilton Worldwide, Marriott International, and Hyatt—are on board. So are the world’s three largest food service companies, Compass Group, Aramark, and Sodexo. Many of the world’s largest food manufacturers like Unilever, Nestlé, Heinz, and Kellogg are shifting their supply chains away from cages and crates. And the restaurant world is starting to catch up with Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, which made recent animal welfare announcements, and Burger King, which completed its phase-out of cage eggs.
Rose Acre, the country’s second largest egg producer with 25 million chickens announced it’s going to stop building new cages and will instead start replacing its battery cage facilities with cage-free operations. We’re seeing other top egg producers including Hidden Villa, Hickmann’s, and Opal Foods vastly expand their cage-free divisions. And on the pork side, major players like Smithfield, Cargill, and Clemens Food Group are all shifting toward production practices where mother pigs are raised in groups, rather than confinement.
The HSUS believes strongly in creating policies that tangibly affect the lives of animals. The corporate announcements have a very real and lasting impact for how farm animals will forever be raised. We’re thankful for all of our partners in the food industry working together with us in creating a more humane economy.