Campaigners call out Starbucks over 'dirty secret'

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
1 September 2021

Starbucks is being targeted by campaigners over its alleged use of eggs from caged hens in Asian outlets.

Charitable organisation Equitas said Starbucks had committed to eradicating the use of caged eggs in the US but not in Asian markets.

In a video showing birds crammed together in cages Equitas said: “Starbucks claims to care about farm animal welfare. In the US the company has committed to selling only cage-free eggs, which are healthier for customers and less cruel to animals. But Starbucks has a dirty secret – it continues to serve Asian customers eggs from hens packed in filthy cruel cages.

“It’s time for Starbucks to stop discriminating against Asian customers and supporting animal cruelty. It’s time for Starbucks to look at going cage-free in Asia.”

Equitas is also targeting Hans Melotte, executive vice-president – president, global channel development at Starbucks, as part of its campaign. 

“Hans and Starbucks are supporting animal cruelty and taking food safety risks,” said Equitas, adding that eggs from caged birds carried more risk of salmonella.

“Mother hens are crammed for nearly their entire lives in cages so small and cruel they are illegal in dozens of countries around the world. The corpses of dead hens are left to decompose right next to hens laying eggs for human consumption.”

Meanwhile, the Global Coalition for Animal Welfare (GCAW) is conducting a consultation on supply chain models for the procurement of cage-free processed egg ingredients.

GCAW said it had “identified the procurement of cage-free processed egg ingredients as a key challenge in meeting global cage-free egg commitments”.  It said there were challenges around availability, cost, and traceability.

Starbucks has been approached for comment.

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