Nestlé will source cage-free eggs by 2025

Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Nestlé has joined other food companies in the fight for animal welfare, stating it will source cage-free eggs for all of its food products by 2025.

With brands such as Nesquik, KitKat and Häagen-Dazs, and products including ice-cream, pastries and cakes, this commitment includes all shell eggs and egg products (whole egg powder and liquid, egg white powder and liquid) directly sourced as ingredients by Nestlé.

According to the company, it will transition to sourcing hens in cage-free environments by the end of 2020 in Europe and 2025 for the rest of the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and Oceania. The earlier time scale for Europe is due to the fact that 40% of eggs used by Nestlé are already from cage-free sources.

The company predicts Asia to be a more complicated market to make this change, stating the transition will occur “as conditions allow”. However, The Lo & Behold Group recently became the first Asian company to join Humane Society International’s (HSI) animal welfare movement sourcing 100% cage-free eggs.

“Switching to cage-free supplies worldwide requires time and investment,” said Nestlé in a statement. “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.”

Elissa Lane, deputy director of HSI Farm Animals, praised the company’s decision to join the fight and suggested they should attempt to maintain all deadlines.

“We urge the company to commit to and meet the 2025 deadline for its supply chain in that region, as well. Humane Society International is proud to support Nestlé on the implementation of this policy around the globe.”

Many hens are prevented from carrying out natural behaviours in the cramped wire enclosures known as battery cages. While enriched or furnished cages are sometimes used as an alternative, they similarly restrict hens’ movement.

Nestle’s commitment follows its recent announcement that the US branch will ensure higher standards of welfare for all broiler chickens by 2024. Other companies such as Kraft Heinz, McDonald’s and 7-Eleven have already made similar commitments, which is expected to significantly improve the living conditions of hundreds of chickens in the supply chain.

As the world’s largest packaged foods company, Nestle’s commitment is “an important benchmark” in this global move away from using caged hens.

“Nestlé’s policy sends another clear message to the egg industry that the future of egg production is cage-free,” said Lane.

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