Nestlé will transition to using only cage-free eggs in all of its U.S. food products within the next five years, the company announced on December 22. The company had earlier announced that it would phase out eggs from caged hens, but at the time had not yet committed to a date when the transition would be completed.
Nestlé uses approximately 20 million pounds of eggs annually to help create some of America’s most known food brands, including Häagen-Dazs, Dreyer’s and Edy’s ice creams, Nestlé Toll House cookie dough and Buitoni pasta. Eggs are also an important part of Lean Cuisine and Stouffer’s popular breakfast items.
“Our products are in the fridges and pantries of socially-conscious consumers across the United States, and we share their belief in the importance of responsibly-sourced ingredients,” said Paul Grimwood, chairman and CEO of Nestlé USA. “The move to using exclusively cage-free eggs is one more way that we’re responding to consumers and establishing a precedent for farm animal welfare.”
The pledge to use exclusively cage-free eggs in the U.S. by 2020 builds on Nestlé’s commitment to farm animal welfare, launched in 2012 and strengthened in 2014. The company also seeks to eliminate practices such as tail docking, gestation crates and veal crates.
As part of this commitment, the company outlined its plan to eliminate specific farming practices, like tail docking for cattle and pigs, gestation crates for pigs and veal crates. Nestlé has been working with World Animal Protection, a global animal welfare organization, to assess its suppliers against these commitments.
Nestlé is developing pilot projects with its suppliers and World Animal Protection to establish a roadmap for sourcing cage-free eggs in Europe and the rest of the world.