Sodexo Inc. announced that by July 2014, all of the 39 million shelled eggs it purchases each year will be sourced from cage-free hens. It is a decision applauded by The Humane Society of the United States, which says the shift will improve the welfare of nearly 150,000 hens annually. Today's announcement comes just weeks after Sodexo committed to the removal of gestation stalls from its pork supply chain.
"Shifting to cage-free eggs is just one more way Sodexo is proactively implementing commitments under The Better Tomorrow Plan, our roadmap for sustainability," said Deborah Hecker, vice president, sustainability and CSR, Sodexo in a prepared statement. "Our decision to source shelled eggs exclusively from hens in a cage-free environment specifically addresses our commitments to buy local, seasonal or sustainably grown or raised products."
With more than 6,000 clients in settings that include education, health care, government and corporate dining operations, Sodexo in North America serves 10 million customers daily. By committing to source cage-free shelled eggs for this vast customer base, Sodexo stands to make a significant contribution to improving the welfare of laying hens.
"Sodexo's move on procurement of shell eggs from more humane sources reflects a strong commitment to hen welfare," said Josh Balk, director of corporate policy for the Humane Society of the United States. "We are grateful that the company has exhibited such leadership in improving the treatment of farm animals within its supply chain."
Sodexo views its commitment to the humane treatment of animals as highly important, just as it is for the people and the communities that it serves. This step is an important part of the progress the company is making toward sustainability in a range of areas, from the food it sources to the energy and facilities management services it provides.
Among some of the recognized achievements in sustainability for Sodexo are: the Dow Jones 2011-2012 Global Sustainability Leader; Sustainability Yearbook; 2012 SAM Sector Leader and 2012 Fortune's Most Admired Companies. Guided by the Better Tomorrow Plan, Sodexo's global roadmap to sustainability, the company works to actively promote nutrition, health and wellness, commit to local communities and protect the environment.