News Blog Articles Compass Group, world’s largest foodservice company, goes cage-free

Compass Group, world’s largest foodservice company, goes cage-free

September 16th, 2016

Compass Group, the largest foodservice company in the world and one which has an arm in New Zealand, has announced they will only use cage-free eggs worldwide by 2025.


Compass Group provides food at over 200 locations in New Zealand and uses a significant number of eggs. This latest announcement is part of a worldwide movement to free hens from cages. SAFE is in coalition with other animal groups in the Open Wing Alliance, whose members are facilitating change with egg retailers worldwide. The Humane League has been the main driver in working with Compass Group to facilitate this positive global change. These cage-free campaigns are supported by strong public condemnation of factory farming with over 70% of the New Zealand public opposed to new-style colony cages for hens.


Internationally hundreds of food retailers have already committed to going, or have already gone, cage-free. In New Zealand restaurants such as McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s have also made the commitment.


SAFE, alongside caring Kiwis, has been asking supermarket giant Countdown to make the same commitment here.

“Countdown sells cage eggs and has yet to ‘name the date’ by which they will phase out these cruelly produced eggs,” says SAFE Head of Campaigns Mandy Carter. “Even Countdown’s parent company, Woolworths in Australia, has pledged a cage egg phase-out by 2018. Countdown’s customers are genuinely disgusted with the cruel caging of hens. Enough of the excuses; it is time to act and stop selling cage eggs!”


Countdown, which sells 1 in 5 of all eggs sold in NZ, has the power to direct the poultry industry away from cage cruelty. Back in August, Countdown launched an “Egg Producer Programme” aimed at increasing the supply of cage-free eggs. The next logical step is to follow their overseas counterparts and ‘Name the Date’ they will stop the sale of all cage eggs.


Hens live a life of misery in cages. Natural behaviour for a hen includes walking, wing flapping, nesting and dust bathing, perching, pecking and scratching – all of which are denied or severely restricted in a cage. The health of these birds is frequently poor, with brittle bones weakened from lack of movement.


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