Nestlé has announced it will source only cage-free eggs for all its food products by 2020 in Europe and 2025 in Africa, Latin America, Oceania and the Middle East.
The company has previously committed to completing its transition to a cage-free supply chain in the US by 2020 and in Canada by 2025.
Nestlé said, all eggs, including shell eggs and egg products directly sourced as ingredients by Nestlé, must be from hens raised without the use of cages, helping accelerate the egg industry’s move away from the caged confinement of laying hens.
“Our purpose is to enhance quality of life and contribute to a healthier future—this includes ensuring decent welfare standards for animals that are reared for ingredients used in our products,” it said.
“Switching to cage-free supplies worldwide requires time and investment. We will manage this in a sustainable and cost effective way during the implementation period, ensuring consumers continue to access affordable high quality foods throughout.
“We look forward to working with our suppliers, farmers, civil society and customers to drive progress”
In Europe, over 40% of the eggs used by Nestlé already come from cage-free hens, according to the company.
The Swiss food giant said the new cage-free policy would affect products and brands such as Gerber, Nesquik, Butterfinger, KitKat, Wonka, Hot Pockets, Lean Cuisine, Stouffer’s, Dreyer’s and Häagen-Dazs.
It added that the move was made after its close conversations and collaboration with members of Open Wing Alliance—an international coalition of farm animal protection organisations launched by The Humane League in 2016.
Major brands including Walmart, Aldi, Dunkin Donuts and Denny’s have already committed to eliminating cages from their supply chains, according to The Humane League.
Elissa Lane, deputy director of lobbying group Humane Society International (HIS), Farm Animals, said Nestlé’s announcement was an important benchmark in the global move towards global cage-free egg supply chains.
“HIS is proud to support Nestlé on the implementation of this policy around the globe,” she said.
“With the world’s largest food companies improving animal welfare in their supply chains by eliminating eggs from hens confined in battery cages, Nestlé policy sends another clear message to the egg industry that the future of egg production is cage-free.”
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