Sodexo, the Paris-based and one of the world’s largest food service suppliers, announced yesterday that it will move to using cage-free eggs throughout its international divisions by 2025.
The move comes just a week after the Publix supermarket chain, considered to be the last major grocery holdout in the U.S., announced plans to switch to cage-free eggs. In 2015, Sodexo pledged to switch to cage-free eggs in its U.S. operations by 2020, but its recent move would be the first for an international organization of this size to make such a commitment.
The Washington Post said the announcement is “a sign that the rapid shift in the United States to cage-free eggs, led by consumers but long championed by animal rights activists, is going more global.”
Like Publix and scores of other companies that have made the pledge, Sodexo was also consulting with animal rights groups advocating for cage-free facilities.
“The new decision will affect both liquid eggs and the 250 million shell eggs the company purchases annually for use at 32,000 schools, hospitals, corporations and other sites it services in 80 countries,” reports the Post.
Cage-free practices replace battery cages, the stacked wire cages so small most birds cannot fully extend both wings. Battery cages became the industry norm in the last half-century but have long been criticized by animal rights advocates. They are banned in the EU, which makes up about 40 percent of Sodexo’s earnings.
In a statement, Sodexo’s senior vice president of supply management, Michel Franceschi, said in a statement that the company plans to “support and contribute to the progressive transformation of the whole industry.”
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Caged hen image via Shutterstock