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.