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Press Release Section Icon 1/24/2024

U.S. companies pledging to sell 100% cage-free eggs have achieved an average transition rate of 73%, according to Compassion in World Farming’s latest EggTrack report released today.

The annual report – which measures the progress made by food companies towards fulfilling their voluntary commitments to switch over to cage-free egg production for laying hens – shows that leading businesses have continued to progress despite global challenges such as bird flu and the war in Ukraine.

According to the latest USDA data, around 60% of U.S. egg-laying hens remain confined within battery cages. Each battery cage houses up to 10 birds. The average space allowance per bird in a typical battery cage is less than a letter-size sheet of paper, and the height is just enough to allow the hen to stand.

Cage-free legislation in 10 states – Arizona, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington and Utah– has helped increase the supply of cage-free eggs in recent years, helping leading food businesses work towards their cage-free commitments.

EggTrack monitors, tracks and encourages the successful voluntary transition to cage-free of the world’s largest food businesses. In 2023, 134 companies in the United States were monitored. Between them, they have made 147 cage-free commitments, of which 109 (74%) are reporting progress, with an average of 73% transition to cage-free. While the report shows that reporting in the U.S. fell by 2.7%, that is largely due to food businesses reporting globally for 2023, rather than domestically in 2022.

The average transition to cage-free eggs in Europe was 80%, and in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, which only began to be monitored in the 2022 EggTrack, an average transition rate of 57% was achieved despite the average overall year-on-year transition falling by 2.5% for commitments tracked in both the 2022 and 2023 iterations of EggTrack, cage-free transition at a global level increased by 6.9%, and 7.4% for companies in the APAC region.

Nine companies made new global cage-free commitments: Associated British Foods PLC, Bakkavor Group PLC, Brinker International Inc, CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc, Dairy Queen, Delaware North, McCormick & Company, Norwegian Cruise Line and The JM Smucker Company.

The Kraft Heinz Company, CVS, and Walgreens reached their goal of becoming 100% cage-free this year. Three companies have been included in EggTrack for the first time this year – Giant Eagle Inc., Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc., and Southwest Food Service Excellence.

Compassion urges companies to achieve 100% cage-free compliance throughout their global supply. That means their commitments should cover ALL regions in which they operate and include ALL egg categories such as shell eggs, egg products AND egg ingredients.

Ryan Robinson, U.S. Corporate Compliance Manager, Compassion in World Farming comments, “The voluntary and increased global commitments and continued progress highlighted throughout this report clearly demonstrate that food companies are focused on providing a cage-free future for egg-laying hens.”

Follow the cage-free conversation on LinkedIn, X, Facebook and Instagram at #EggTrack. To learn more and to see the full EggTrack 2023 Report visit www.eggtrack.com


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