Pressure on restaurants falling behind cage-free egg trend

04-02-2022 | |
The world’s top 50 global restaurant chains are being called upon to improve their hen welfare standards. Photo: Daniel Hooper
The world’s top 50 global restaurant chains are being called upon to improve their hen welfare standards. Photo: Daniel Hooper

Global restaurant chains are falling behind the rest of the food industry on animal welfare, according to a report released by 80 major animal protection organisations spanning 63 countries.

The Open Wing Alliance say that despite a steady industry shift towards cage-free egg production, some of the most influential corporations are still refusing to address welfare issues within their global supply chains.

The Global Restaurant 2022 Report says as well as failing to meet cage-free egg commitments, the companies are also refusing to engage in meaningful discussions about their practices. The report highlights McDonald’s, Subway, Denny’s, Chili’s, Outback Steakhouse, Panda Express, Telepizza, Five Guys, Darden and the Cheesecake Factory for falling into this category.

Calling on the world’s top 50 restaurant chains

Alexandria Beck, director of the Open Wing Alliance, said it was calling on the world’s top 50 global restaurant chains to improve their standards, saying the industry even during the Covid-19 pandemic brought in an estimated US$ 1.2 trillion in 2020.

“The egg-laying hen is one of the most statistically exploited animals raised for food, with more than 6 billion egg-laying hens suffering in caged confinements around the world. Too often, food industry profits are offset by the mass suffering of the animals raised for food within the supply chain.”

A lack of progress

The Alliance is frustrated by the lack of progress in this sector compared with other areas where global companies and industry leaders have been abandoning cages all around the world. More than 100 global commitments to end the use of battery cages have been made by firms, including KFC, Burger King, Unilever, Nestlé, Aldi, InterContinental Hotels, Sodexo and others.

Earlier this month, Papa Johns announced that will use 100% cage-free eggs by 2030. The firm has more than 5,400 locations spanning 45 countries, including more than 200 restaurants in China, as well as locations across Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, Latin America and Europe.

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Tony Mcdougal Freelance Journalist