HSI welcomes Nestlé announcement setting dates for its complete transition to cage-free eggs in Latin America, Oceania, Middle East and Africa

Humane Society International

  • A hen at a cage-free farm in Brazil. HSI

Following its 2014 commitment to switch to a 100 percent cage-free global egg supply chain, Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, announced that it will complete this transition in Europe by 2020 and in Latin America, Oceania, Middle East, and Africa by 2025. The company had previously committed to completing its transition to a cage-free supply chain in the U.S. by 2020, and in Canada by 2025. 

According to Nestlé, all eggs it sources must be from hens raised without the use of cages, helping accelerate the egg industry’s move away from the caged confinement of laying hens.

Elissa Lane, deputy director of Humane Society International Farm Animals, stated: “Nestlé announcement that it will transition to a cage-free egg supply chain in Latin America, Oceania, the Middle East and Africa by 2025 is an important benchmark in the global move towards cage-free eggs. While the company also signaled that Asia would be included in this move ‘if conditions allow,’ we urge the company to commit to and meet the 2025 deadline for its supply chain in that region, as well. Humane Society International is proud to support Nestle on the implementation of this policy around the globe. With the world’s largest food companies improving animal welfare in their supply chains by eliminating eggs from hens confined in battery cages, Nestlé’s policy sends another clear message to the egg industry that the future of egg production is cage-free.”

Ruud Tombrock, executive director of HSI/Europe, stated: “We applaud Nestlé’s leadership in animal welfare and look forward to supporting the implementation of their animal welfare policies around the world. The company’s commitment to end their procurement of caged eggs throughout Europe by 2020 is further proof that the future of egg production is cage-free.”

Worldwide, the majority of egg-laying hens are confined in wire battery cages. The cages are so small that the hens can barely move or stretch their wings. Each battery cage confines five to 10 egg-laying hens and each animal has less space than an A4 sized piece of paper on which to spend her whole life.

While barren battery cages to house egg laying hens are banned in the European Union, enriched or furnished cages remain common. Similar to conventional battery cages, furnished cages provide an unacceptably limited amount of space per bird. They prevent many important activities, including running, jumping, flying and wing flapping. They also constrain important natural behaviours such as perching, dustbathing and nesting. In various non-EU countries in Europe, hens are regularly confined in barren battery cages.  

Media contact: Raúl Arce-Contreras, rcontreras@humanesociety.org