McDonald’s has announced that its US egg supply chain is 33% cage-free, part of a commitment to become 100% cage-free by 2025.
The fast food giant sources 2.2bn eggs each year in the US and is working with suppliers to create a cage-free supply chain, which currently does not exist.
McDonald’s said: “When we announced this commitment, the cage-free egg did not exist in the US to meet our demand.”
McDonald’s has been working with suppliers including Cargill since it announced the target in 2015.
Kristin Tupa, egg sustainability lead at Cargill, said: “McDonald’s works hard to know its supply chain well and understand the challenges producers face. This is important because together we are literally creating the supply of cage-free eggs.”
Farmers are being supported to develop a cage-free supply chain by building new aviaries, renovating existing farms and implementing new technologies. McDonald’s holds supplier summits to share best practices.
Egg farms also have an attending veterinarian to lead training and education for the staff to ensure a high level of care for chickens.
McDonald’s estimated it will source over 726m cage-free eggs in 2019, made possible by developing the supply chain.
Announcing the target in 2015, McDonald’s US president Mike Andreas said: “Our customers are increasingly interested in knowing more about their food and where it comes from. Our decision to source only cage-free eggs reinforces the focus we place on food quality and our menu to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations.”
Since making a commitment to cage-free eggs, over 200 companies in the US have followed suit including Nestlé, who have also made a commitment to go 100% cage-free by 2025.
In 2006, an index named McDonald’s as the most unethical firm in the world because of its business conduct, including the way it treats its suppliers.
McDonald’s has been working to improve its supply chains. In December 2018, it announced it would end the routine use of antibiotics in its beef supply chain in the UK, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Poland, and the US.
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