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October 13, 2016

Largest McDonald’s operator in Latin America to source exclusively cage-free eggs

Humane Society International

Today, a day before World Egg Day, Arcos Dorados, the largest operator of McDonald’s restaurants in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the world’s largest McDonald’s franchisee, announced plans to switch to 100 percent cage-free eggs in its supply chain by 2025—a move that will spare millions of animals each year from life inside cramped cages. 

Arcos Dorados is the largest fast food restaurant chain in Latin America and the Caribbean, and operates more than 2,100 McDonald’s restaurants in 20 countries in the region. This policy follows years of dialogue with Humane Society International, one of the world’s largest animal protection organization, which is working with Arcos Dorados on this and other animal welfare issues, including on the company’s transition to a gestation crate-free pork supply chain that it committed to in 2014.

Elissa Lane, deputy director of HSI Farm Animals, stated: “We applaud Arcos Dorados for its dedication to improving the lives of farm animals, and we applaud its decision to switch to exclusively cage-free eggs. We’re happy to work with Arcos Dorados and other major food companies to ensure a better future for farm animals in Latin America. Arcos Dorados’ admirable move makes clear that egg production's future is cage-free, and we look forward to working with more companies on similar policies.”

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In its policy statement, Arcos Dorados states: “As the pre-eminent brand in Latin America, we are committed to being at the forefront of industry best-practice initiatives. We will continue to ensure that our customers are consuming high quality products, in accordance with animal welfare policies…Once again, our supply chain is primed to surpass our clients’ expectations and fulfill growing demand.”

In Latin America, most egg-laying hens are confined in wire battery cages, where each hen has about the space of an iPad to spend her whole life. Battery cages are among the cruelest factory-farming invention. Undercover investigations have documented the suffering caused by the extreme overcrowding in these wire contraptions, where birds are confined to cages so small and tight, they cannot even flap their wings. 

The cage-free egg movement has quickly spread throughout Latin America and a growing number of food companies are adopting cage-free egg purchasing policies. HSI has worked with the region’s food industry leaders on their recent cage-free egg pledges, including Sodexo and Compass Group, the largest food service companies in the world; Alsea, the largest restaurant operator in Latin America; as well as Burger King, Grupo Bimbo, Grupo Toks and CMR.  More than 200 companies have committed to cage-free egg supply chains in the U.S.

Media contact:
Raul Arce-Contreras, rcontreras@humanesociety.org, +1 301.721.6440

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