Compass Group, world’s largest food service provider, commits to sourcing only cage-free eggs in global supply chain

LONDON (15 September 2016) – Compass Group, the world’s leading food service company with operations in 50 countries, announced  today that it will source only cage-free eggs for its global liquid and shell egg supply chain by 2025. Humane Society International (HSI) and The Humane Society of the United States have worked with Compass Group around the globe for several years on this and other animal welfare issues, including on the company’s cage-free egg policies for their U.S. and Mexico operations. In the UK, Compass Group serves one million meals and three million customers every day in hospitals, schools, workplaces, restaurants and sports and leisure venues.

Claire Bass, Executive Director of HSI UK, said: “Compass Group’s commitment to a cage-free policy for its global supply chain will improve the lives of millions of hens each year.  It is clear that the cage-free is the future of the egg industry across the world, and we look forward to working with more companies on such far-reaching policies.”

In its statement, Nicki Crayfourd, Director of Group Health, Safety and Environment at Compass Group PLC, commented, “Improving the welfare of farm animals is a key focus for our business and we've supported the sourcing of cage free eggs since 2009. This commitment marks the next step in our journey and we look forward to continuing to work with partners such as Compassion in World Farming, Humane Society International and The Humane League who provide invaluable support and guidance.”

Egg-laying hens are often confined for their whole lives in wire battery cages so small and crowded with other birds that the animals cannot even fully stretch their wings. The use of conventional battery cages for laying hens is banned or being phased out under laws or regulations throughout the EU, five U.S. states, New Zealand and Bhutan. The majority of states in India, which is the world’s third largest egg producer, have declared that the use of battery cages violates the country’s animal welfare legislation, and the country is debating a national ban.

Today’s announcement follows a similar commitment made recently by Sodexo , the world’s second largest food service provider, also to switch to a 100 per cent cage-free egg supply chain for its global operations. Compass Group joins a growing number of companies that have committed to cage-free egg policies worldwide including Alsea , Unilever , Grupo Bimbo and Nestlé .

Approximately 12 billion eggs are consumed annually in the UK, with almost one quarter of them used in food service, so today’s announcement from Compass Group reflects real progress in this sector.  

Facts:

  • Compass Group UK already uses free-range eggs in its Grab-and-go ‘Origin Food’ sandwiches.
  • Over fifty per cent of the UK retail sector has already switched to 100 per cent free range eggs. However around 44% of the eggs produced in the UK are still produced in 'enriched' battery cages (source: noblefoods.co.uk ).
  • In 2014 Eurest, Compass Group’s branch in Mexico, partnered with HSI to announce its transition to a 100 percent cage-free egg supply chain in Mexico.
  • Compass Group received The Humane Society of the United States’ Corporate Progress Award in 2011 for its industry leadership on animal welfare.

Media contact: Laura Quinn, Media and Communications Manager, Humane Society International/UK - email lquinn@hsi.org Tel .: (0) 203 1742 185 

Humane Society International and its partner organisations together constitute one of the world’s largest animal protection organisations. For 25 years, HSI has been working for the protection of all animals through the use of science, advocacy, education and hands on programmes. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide – on the Web at hsi.org .

About Us

Humane Society International and its partner organisations together constitute one of the world’s largest animal protection organisations. For more than 20 years, HSI has been working for the protection of all animals through the use of science, advocacy, education and hands on programs. Our key campaigns include Kill the Cull opposing England's badger cull; Be Cruelty-Free to end animal testing of cosmetics; CITES and wildlife protection; Love Spain Hate Bullfighting. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide – on the Web at hsi.org Be Cruelty-Free is the largest campaign in the world to end cosmetics animal testing. Globally HSI is leading the charge to end cosmetics cruelty in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Russia, Taiwan and Be Cruelty-Free USA is spearheaded by The Humane Society of the United States. On the web at hsi.org/becrueltyfree

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