Nestlé has made a global commitment to source only cage-free eggs for all its food products by 2025.
This includes all shell eggs and egg products directly sourced as ingredients by Nestlé.
Nestlé will make the transition to cage-free eggs in Europe and US by the end of 2020, and in the rest of the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and Oceania by 2025, with the move in Asia to be completed in the same transition period.
This announcement follows those made by many other companies, who have committed to join the growing cage-free movement worldwide.
Whilst the timescales proposed to banish cages by Nestlé, and others, are lengthy, animal welfare organisations have welcomed the step.
Compassion in World Farming Director of Food Business, Tracey Jones, said: “Nestlé’s announcement to take their cage-free commitment worldwide has the potential to benefit the lives of millions of laying hens and highlights the company’s journey to improving farm animal welfare.
“We will continue to work with Nestlé to ensure the production system changes required in their egg supply will offer the hens a good quality of life in rich and stimulating environments.”
The announcement follows news of the UK’s Chief Vet calling the decision by major retailers to go cage free by 2025 as a “regrettable move”.
During a speech at the Egg and Poultry Industry Conference (EPIC) in South Wales, he spoke of the dilemma between retailers who wanted to move away from cage eggs and the risk of managing free range chickens in areas of the country at greater risk from avian flu.