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The latest food company to announce a change in egg sourcing, Mondelēz International will fully transition to using cage-free eggs in the United States and Canada by 2020 and in Europe by 2025.
This move follows what the company calls “years of progress in sustainable and responsible sourcing, including improving the welfare of egg-laying chickens in the supply chain.”
"With the ambition of being the global leader in well-being snacks, we're making great strides in ensuring sustainable and responsible production of our products and sourcing of our ingredients," said Jonathan Horrell, Mondelēz director of sustainability. "Meaningful commitments such as these take time, in both planning and implementation, but we're very pleased to announce this major step forward in our cage-free sourcing.
Horrell continued: "We ultimately want all eggs to be produced cage-free, and we'll continue to advance conversations with suppliers to establish timelines for cage-free production in other regions, when we have evidence that commercially viable supplies are available."
Mondelēz currently uses 100 percent cage-free eggs in all of its European chocolate brands as well as in its biscuit products sold in Belgium and the Netherlands.
The Human Society of the United States applauded Mondelēz for the move. "This is a tremendous step forward for a global company, and it will make a meaningful difference for animals," said Josh Balk, HSUS senior director of food policy.
The number of food manufacturing and foodservice companies committing to cage-free eggs has grown in recent months. Proponents maintain it’s a more humane system of egg production, though some argue that cage-free hens have a higher mortality rate than caged birds.