Leading fast food company in the USA, Panera Bread, is the latest restaurant chain to announce plans to stop using eggs from cage-confined hens. The company said it will use 100 percent cage-free eggs in its U.S. restaurants by 2020.
Panera’s new animal welfare standards will improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of hens every year and applies to shell eggs as well as eggs used as ingredients, which amounts to 120 million eggs per year. This is a huge turnaround, given that last year, Panera announced that only 18% of the eggs the company served - including shell eggs, hard boiled and liquid egg whites - came from laying hens raised in cage-free environments.
Compassion’s US Director, Leah Garces, said: “No business with integrity, or a future, is going to let cages stay in their supply chain. This announcement from Panera shows their willingness to disclose exactly where they are at and where they are going in terms of animal welfare.”
In their statement, Panera has also stated that all of their pork is now gestation crate free, and 89% of their beef is grass fed.
Panera joins other leading US companies such as McDonald’s, Starbucks, Compass and Sodexo, all of whom are seriously addressing animal welfare in their supply chains and have recently set deadlines to phase out cage usage for laying hens. We commend these food companies who are helping to set the new acceptable baseline standard for egg production in the US -- cage-free. We look forward to seeing the ripple effect continue, as other major national and international companies follow suit.