Today, Compass Group, the world’s largest food service provider, announced it will switch all the eggs it uses – both liquid and shell – to cage-free for all of its global operations in 50 countries. The announcement will move millions of hens out of battery cages and into cage-free environments, and it’s the latest big development in our move to end cage confinement of farm animals everywhere on the planet.
We’ve been proud to work with Compass Group for the last several years on this and other animal welfare issues. Back in 2014, Humane Society International worked with Eurest (Compass Group in Mexico) on the company’s cage-free policy for its Mexico operations. Previously, we were pleased to work with Compass Group to announce cage-free policies in the United States. Compass Group’s new global policy comes in the wake of discussions with HSI and other animal protection organizations.
Around the world, egg-laying hens are often confined for their whole lives in wire battery cages so small that they cannot even fully stretch their wings. We have achieved so much global progress over the past couple of months. Sodexo, the world’s second largest food service provider — also recently pledged to go cage-free globally. Just a couple of weeks ago, Alsea, the largest restaurant operator in Latin America and one of the largest in the world, announced a cage-free egg policy for its 3,000 locations throughout Latin America and Europe.
Major companies like Unilever, Nestlé, Burger King, and Grupo Bimbo have also committed to global cage-free egg supply chains, and nearly 200 major U.S. companies — including Subway, McDonald’s, and Walmart — have done the same for their supply chains in the United States.
Battery cages are unacceptable everywhere, and the era of confining hens in cages is on the way out. Corporations of every stripe are recognizing that they want to be leaders, not laggards, on this issue. The Compass Group cage-free expansion plan is yet another major development to celebrate, from a forward-thinking company that understands where the market is heading and wants to be at the front of the parade.