Following discussions with The Humane Society of the United States about the treatment of animals in its supply chain, Kraft Foods has decided to switch one million eggs within its supply chain to cage-free eggs in 2011.
“Kraft Foods’ decision coincides with the national movement away from using cruel and inhumane cages to confine laying hens,” said Josh Balk, corporate outreach director of The HSUS’ factory farming campaign. “The company should be applauded for taking animal welfare seriously by purchasing cage-free eggs, and we hope others in the food industry follow its lead.”
Steve Yucknut, Vice President of Sustainability at Kraft Foods, stated, “We recognize that animal welfare is an issue that resonates with customers, and we’re taking this step to address their concerns.”
Across the country, a national movement away from using cage eggs has taken root: Unilever and Sara Lee are phasing-in cage-free eggs. Subway, Wendy’s, Denny’s, Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s, Quiznos, Golden Corral, Sonic and Burger King are just some of the major restaurant chains that use cage-free eggs. Wal-Mart’s and Costco’s private labels only use cage-free eggs.
Michigan and California have passed laws to outlaw cage confinement of hens, and Ohio’s governor announced his support for a moratorium on the construction of any new cage layer facilities. Additionally, California recently enacted a law requiring that all whole eggs sold statewide be cage-free by 2015.
- U.S. factory farms confine about 280 million hens in cages so small, they can't even spread their wings. Extensive scientific research confirms this causes suffering.
- Cage-free hens generally have two to three times more space per bird than caged hens. Cage-free hens may not be able to go outside and, like caged hens, may have parts of their beaks cut off, but they can walk, spread their wings and lay their eggs in nests—all behaviors permanently denied to hens crammed into cages.