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Food giant Nestlė applauded for global cage-egg free commitment

November 3rd, 2017

World’s largest food company announces global commitment to end cages

Nestlė, the world’s largest food company, has announced its commitment to eliminate cages from its egg supply chain worldwide. This policy will be adopted by all of Nestlė’s locations in 189 countries. In New Zealand, Nestlė has committed to a phase-out date of 2025. This announcement is part of an ever-growing worldwide movement to free hens from cages, says SAFE. SAFE worked alongside members of the global coalition, the Open Wing Alliance, to enable this worldwide commitment.

“This year, we’ve seen a huge swell of companies committing to go cage-egg free, including all of New Zealand’s major supermarkets,” says SAFE campaigns director, Mandy Carter. “It is heartening to see that companies are listening to demands from their customers and helping to eliminate the worst practices in factory farming.”

The global cage-free policy builds on Nestlė’s timeline to eliminate cages from its U.S. egg supply chain by 2020, announced back in 2015. In Europe, Nestlė will implement its cage-free transition by the end of 2020. For the rest of the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and Oceania, the company has committed to a 2025 timeline and it will aim for the same transition period in Asia.

Earlier this year, supermarket giant Countdown announced its commitment to go cage-free in New Zealand by 2025. They were followed by Foodstuffs who committed to be cage-free by 2027 across all their stores. Other companies in New Zealand who are already cage-egg free or have named a future phase-out date include Wendy’s, Pita Pit, McDonald’s, Burger King, Compass Group, Sodexo, Mondelez and General Mills.

By law, conventional battery cages must be removed by egg producers by 2022. However, the NZ egg industry was set to replace these cages with equally cruel colony cages. Egg-laying hens are crammed into wire cages and are only given floor space about the size of an A4 piece of paper on which to live their entire lives. The cages prevent hens from exercising many of their natural behaviors including fully stretching their wings and dustbathing.

“The writing really is on the wall for the cage egg industry,” says Ms Carter. “The world is watching those companies who have yet to announce their own phase-out dates.”

 

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