progress. We understand it takes time to make changes across the supply chain.” Companies approached by the Humane League are often willing to talk about their situation and she recognised that Covid-19 has caused issues for the sector over the past year but added that all firms had been in the same situation and others had made significant progress. She said the Humane League was not currently working with CIWF in the US on this issue: “I have seen their great tool to track progress across key players in the industry but we aren’t involved in their study… but it is a great resource and reference for us.”

Investors The Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare is a frame- work tool to help investors, companies, NGOs and other stakeholders understand farm animal welfare issues and the relative performance of food companies in this area, and monitors a number of US companies. Ms Hendrickson said she was encountering increasing shareholder pressure: “I know from contacts that investors are increasingly interested in animal welfare issues… We do give companies credit where due. For example, Walmart and McDonalds are leading the way on cage-free eggs.” However, she recognised the in- dustry was still in a different place to the European egg sector due to cultural differences, the scale of the US industry and EU legislation. Vicky Bond, Humane League UK managing director and animal welfare specialist, added: “The barren battery cage ban in 2012 ensured that cages were firmly put into European minds as bad. And while many producers moved to enriched cages, the

public was horrified when many producers decided that rather than investing in a larger cage they’d convert to cage free.” “This is alongside very clear marketing rules that ensure all egg packets identify the eggs using the system of 3 – enriched cage, 2 – barn, 1 – free range, and 0 – organic. And that free range affords birds at least 4m2

way, consumers see the word caged on the packaging and can avoid them and free-range acutally means access to a large range area. And now countries such as Germany are banning cages entirely, with over 90% cage free already.”

Eggspose So is the latest campaign working? Following the release of the Cage-Free Eggspose, the Humane League was able to re- port that three companies – Arby’s, Lucky’s Market and Nug- get Market – had all agreed to publicly report on their cage- free progress. Arby’s published their policy on their parent site (Inspire Brands), saying it had committed to finalising 100% sourcing of cage-free eggs by 2025, with phased imple- mentation timing for its Sonic brand related to the volume of eggs used. Arby’s said it had completed its transition to serv- ing only cage-free eggs by the end of 2020. Discussions with other companies are also bearing fruit, with national chain Dairy Queen saying it was on track to meet its cage-free egg commitment in both the US and Canada for shell eggs, liquid eggs and proprietary products by 2025. And for the long- term future? Beth Anne Hendrickson is clear: “100% cage free is our end goal”. That may be some years ahead. US egg pro- ducers predicted last year that more than half of US hens will still be in cages in 2025.

▶ POULTRY WORLD | No. 3, 2021

of space per bird outside. In this

Industry body United Egg Pro- ducers says the number of hens housed in con- ventional cage environments is decreasing as producers, re- tailers and food manufacturers transition to cage-free eggs.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44