Global cage-free progress increasing
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 NGO.
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 UK 64.6% of eggs are now cage-free and the decline in caged eggs produced in the UK (down to 35% share of production) is accompanied by a concurrent increase in free-range (up to 59% of production) and, to a lesser extent, organic production (4%). Barn production remains unchanged at 2%.
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 pillar 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.
Dr Tracey Jones, Global Director for Food Business at Compassion said: “Despite difficult economic times, companies are still forging ahead with their cage-free commitments which should be applauded. It's fantastic to see an increase in global commitments from leading companies who are showing a reasonable transition to cage free.
“EggTrack is an important tool in ensuring this progress continues, helping to drive transition and compliance. But going forward, companies must address all egg categories in their commitments and ensure the cage-free systems they transition into are fit for purpose.
“Cage-free production is a smart investment, as increasing consumer and corporate demand will only accelerate this global trend.”
For further information or to arrange interviews, contact Compassion in World Farming’s Media Team: 01483 521 615 firstname.lastname@example.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.