Today, (16th November) Compassion launched its latest GLOBAL EggTrack report which shows that, despite difficult economic times, companies are still forging ahead with their cage-free egg commitments.
According to the 2022 report, 175 (75.4%) of the 232 tracked companies report progress against their cage-free commitments, an increase from 71% in 2021, with an average 79.1% transition to cage-free.
More companies, including Pizza Express, Yum! Brands and Bloomin’ Brands, made new global cage-free commitments in the past year, and of the companies that reported global progress, their cage-free sourcing increased from 55.2% in 2021 to 63.1% in 2022.
Of the 232 companies included in EggTrack, 103 operate globally, 52 operate only in North America or the US, 76 operate in Europe (including the UK), and for the first time, EggTrack has a dedicated section for the Asia-Pacific region which includes 2 companies that operate there exclusively.
2022 EggTrack Highlights
- Overall, 75.4% of companies tracked are reporting progress against their cage-free commitments
- 8 companies made new global cage free commitments including Bloomin’ Brands, Darden Restaurants, Focus Brands, Pizza Express, Royal Caribbean International, The Cheesecake Factory, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and Yum! Brands
- Of the 58 companies with global commitments, 34 (58.6%) are reporting progress against their commitments.
- Of the companies that reported global progress, their cage-free sourcing increased from 55.2% in 2021 to 63.1% in 2022.
- One international company - Famous Brands - reported meeting its global cage-free commitment this past year.
- Of the 128 companies with European commitments (as part of a regional or global commitment), 109 (85%) reported progress – with their supply chains now standing at an average 84.4% cage-free.
- 8 companies reported meeting Europe-level commitments this past year: Ahold Delhaize, Andros, Columbus Café, Coop Denmark Group, J D Wetherspoon plc, Markas, Pizza Express, and Lactalis.
- Of the 18 companies with Asia-Pacific commitments (as part of a regional or global commitment), 8 companies reported progress (44.4%).
- 24 companies have made clear statements against the use of combination systems within their supply chain
More companies phasing out combi cages
With the consistent upward demand for cage-free eggs, companies should be careful not to opt for systems like ‘combination’ or ‘limited access’ systems, as they limit hen movement and are not considered to be a suitable alternative to caged housing. As such, Compassion is asking companies to publish updated language in their cage-free commitments specifying that they will not allow combination or limited access systems in their supply chain.
In this year’s report, 24 companies have made clear statements against the use of combination systems within their supply chain. These include: ALDI Nord, Barilla, Bennet, Carrefour Spain, Chef Express, Coles Group, Coop Italy, Domino’s Pizza (UK & IRE), E.Leclerc France, Eroski, Eurovo, Fattoria Roberti, GB Foods, Grupo Avícola Rujamar, Gruppo Sabbatani, Gruppo Selex, Huevos Guillén, Kroger, Marr, Meijer, Metro Group, Sammontana, Tesco and Unilever.
Commitments needed across all egg categories
Across the UK retail sector, the status of cage free eggs is variable. For example, Waitrose, The Coop, Sainsbury’s and M&S have been cage-free on shell eggs and egg products for many years now, while Aldi and Lidl have commitments on both shell eggs and egg products but are failing to report progress on the latter. Asda has added egg products to their cage-free commitment this year and are yet to report on their progress, while Spar and Iceland do not have cage-free commitments for egg products at all.
Similarly in the UK restaurant sector, many of the businesses in EggTrack have made commitments to go 100% cage free across all their eggs categories but many are only reporting progress on shell eggs, although Costa Coffee, Greggs and Pizza Express are reporting progress on both egg categories.
To achieve 100% cage-free production, companies must ensure that their cage-free policies include all egg categories - shell, product, AND ingredient eggs. This will be a focus in the 2023 EggTrack Report where the egg categories captured will include egg ingredients for the first time, recognising the huge volume of eggs used in processed foods and which impact a high number of hens.
Cage-free production is a smart investment
EggTrack will continue to measure company progress and drive the transition to cage-free eggs across the global food industry. Moving forwards, companies need to ensure that they address all egg categories in their commitments and that the cage-free systems they transition into are fit for purpose (exclusive of combination and limited access systems).
Cage-free production is a smart investment, as increasing consumer and corporate demand will only accelerate this global trend.