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Compassion’s Global EggTrack report shows the progress companies are making towards meeting their commitments to purchase 100% cage-free eggs by 2025 (2026 for some businesses in the US).

It aims to celebrate those public commitments and create transparency by encouraging companies report year-on-year progress towards meeting their commitments, while enabling business-to-business conversations that will deliver a stable and successful transition to a cage-free future.

About EggTrack

EggTrack

Are we progressing towards a cage-free future?

Read the full report here
EggTrack

The companies

Review the company and sector progress in this year’s Global EggTrack

Check the progress here
The companies

EggTrack highlights the progress companies are making across not only shell or whole egg, but also their product and ingredient egg supply chains too, which are just as important but often forgotten when it comes to commitments and reporting.

By demonstrating the progress companies are making towards meeting their long-term cage-free commitments, we hope to inspire further progress and give producers the confidence to invest in the best alternative systems which are not only fit for purpose, to give the hens a good quality of life, but fit for the future too with a lifetime worth of investment.

All the companies highlighted in the report have made a commitment to sourcing only cage-free eggs by 2026, or sooner.

Companies were selected based on their size, egg footprint, market influence and commitment deadline and were asked to publicly disclose or update their cage-free percentage this year ahead of 31 July 2020.

All information in EggTrack is based on companies’ publicly disclosed information.

Combination systems are high risk

With fewer than five years to meet a 2025 cage-free commitment deadline (2026 for many businesses in the US), companies need to speed up their rate of transition. 

However, they should be careful not to opt for systems like ‘combination’ or ‘limited access’ systems, as these may pose a risk to a truly cage-free future.

These systems have internal partitions and doors which, when closed, turn back to a colony cage, and are operated at very high stocking densities. They limit hen movement and cannot be considered as truly cage-free.   

Companies must do their due diligence to ensure these systems are not used and instead invest in well-designed, spacious aviary systems that meaningfully improve the lives of laying hens.

Given that laying hens experience the same physical, behavioural, and psychological distress of being caged wherever they are reared, we urge all companies - especially those with global footprints - to meet the challenge and commit to cage-free eggs throughout their entire global supply.

We encourage all companies to support a cage-free future by:

  • making cage-free your new baseline for both shell and ingredient eggs and publicising this commitment
  • clarifying the scope of your cage-free commitment to include all forms of egg (i.e. shell, product and ingredient), and multinationals should extend regional commitments across their entire global supply chains
  • investing in the right system that is fit for purpose and future-proofed, by providing your suppliers with specific system design requirements (i.e. no combi cages).
  • taking the consumer on the journey with you - when your customers understand what cage-free really means for laying hen welfare, they are much more likely to choose higher welfare products on shelf. Marketing and promotion are opportunities and a the key to success!

Compassion offers help, advice and support for all companies making the transition to cage-free production. Find out more here

2020 Global EggTrack

The 2020 EggTrack report is the first to expand beyond the US and Europe to include global company commitments. Of the 210 companies tracked this year, 80 operate globally, 57 operate only in North America or the United States, and 73 operate only in Europe.

The 2020 report reveals that the increase in demand for cage-free eggs is growing globally and is no longer limited to European and North American markets. Yet at the same time, a significant number of multinational companies have made cage-free commitments in some regions but are yet to extend those commitments across their entire global supply chains.

EggTrack - 2020 highlights

EggTrack - 2020 highlights

Global highlights

  • 63% of the 210 companies tracked this year have made progress towards their commitments.
  • Since 2016, the number of companies with GLOBAL cage-free commitments has grown from five to at least 37 (including global giants like Unilever, Nestlé and Compass Group).
  • Danone increased its global cage-free sourcing from 43% to 88%.
  • Aramark, Sodexo and Compass Group all reported global progress across all egg types; shell, liquid and processed.
  • McDonald’s are reporting 100% cage-free shell eggs in Europe, and although they have achieved cage-free status on both shell eggs and egg product/ingredients in four European countries (UK, Germany, France, Netherlands), they do not yet have a global cage-free commitment.
  • Barilla is the ONLY company to have met a global cage-free commitment, which it did in 2019.

EggTrack - 2020 highlights

European highlights

  • EggTrack has seen an increase in companies reporting on their transition to cage-free eggs in Europe, from 57 in 2018, to 83 in 2020.
  • Of that 83, 53 companies reported fully against all relevant egg types (shell, liquid and processed), and 30 reported progress for only part of their commitment.
  • Of the 101 companies with European commitments (as part of a global or regional commitment), over 80% reported progress.
  • 19 companies reported meeting European commitments this past year, including Unilever, Caffè Nero, Groupe Holder
  • 15 companies reported European progress for the first time, including Groupe Avril.
  • Greggs, Starbucks and Aldi Nord are nearing completion of their cage-free egg commitments.
  • Morrisons met their shell egg commitment this year ahead of their 2022 deadline
  • Tesco and Aldi UK added a 2025 cage-free commitment for egg products/ingredients this year.
  • Burger King retracted its European cage-free egg commitment
Good Egg Award

Good Egg Award

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Since 2007, the Good Egg Award has recognised companies that use or have committed (within five years) to use cage-free eggs or egg products.

To date more than 99 million laying hens are set to benefit each year from our award winners’ policies.

It takes more than 6.5 billion laying hens to produce the eggs required for the global egg market, with over 60% of hens kept in industrialised caged systems.

Minimum conditions for the protection of laying hens are set out in the EU Directive (Council Directive 1999/74/EC), which has banned the use of the barren battery cage since 1 January 2012. 

In the EU, there are over 360 million laying hens kept for egg production each year, and around 38 million in the UK. Over 50% are housed in cages, the majority of which are ‘enriched’ cages, which although legal in the EU, are still confinement systems.

In the USA, nearly all laying hens are confined in barren battery cages.

Hens start laying regularly at around 18-20 weeks of age and commercially they lay for just over a year before being sent for slaughter. Most of their lives are therefore spent in confinement.

Award Winners

Award Winners

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Laying Hens

Laying Hens

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This section contains a welfare potential matrix of the different production systems used for laying hens, as well as a summary of the key welfare issues of these production systems.

For producers converting to cage-free systems, there is a practical guide on the key features of a higher welfare system for laying hens.

You can also read about the welfare of laying hens in alternative systems (summary or full information sheet) and get informed about specific welfare issues such as feather coverage and beak trimming (summary or full information sheet), and how to assess welfare on farm.

Or find out how Compassion's welfare criteria for laying hens compare with other welfare schemes here.

There is also information available about egg production in the EU and the consumer perception of eggs.

 

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If you have any further questions regarding this, or any other matter, please get in touch with us at supporters@ciwf.org.uk. We aim to respond to all queries within two working days. However, due to the high volume of correspondence that we receive, it may occasionally take a little longer. Please do bear with us if this is the case. Alternatively, if your query is urgent, you can contact our Supporter Engagement Team on +44 (0)1483 521 953 (lines open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm).