Delaware North—one of the world’s largest foodservice companies—prides itself on “integrity” and “excellence.” Yet despite these claimed values, the company still allows horribly cruel practices in its supply chain. More than 140 companies have pledged to phase out cages in their global egg supply chains, but Delaware North has failed to do the same.
Around the world, over 80 percent of hens used for eggs are confined to tiny, crowded cages without room to even spread their wings. Each bird is forced to live on cage-floor space roughly the area of a sheet of printer paper, unable to do much of anything that comes naturally, such as nesting or dustbathing. Hens often suffer health complications, like lameness, bone fragility, and muscle weakness. Many die, leaving living cagemates to shuffle around their dead bodies.
Packing chickens together in cages is also associated with increased risk of Salmonella infection, raising serious food-safety concerns. Caging hens is an issue impacting people and animals worldwide, and companies have a duty to ban this cruel confinement in their global supply chains.
Thankfully, more and more people are learning about the suffering chickens endure in the egg industry. The resulting public outcry has propelled a rapidly growing cage-free movement around the globe. More than 140 multinational food companies—including Burger King, Sodexo, and The Kraft Heinz Company—have global cage-free commitments covering their entire operations. Unfortunately, Delaware North is not one of those companies.
Delaware North has tremendous reach, providing food services for stadiums, airports, parks, and other major venues around the world. While the company has adopted cage-free policies for the United States and the United Kingdom, they do not extend to its other regions of operation. This is particularly concerning for its operations in Asia Pacific, where a whopping 60 percent of the world’s laying hens are raised. Marbella Fernández, Mercy For Animals’ global corporate projects specialist, stated:
We expect a global cage-free egg commitment from Delaware North leadership to reduce cases of bone brittleness, foot lesions, feather loss, fatty liver, and even death among laying hens due to extreme confinement.
Please join Mercy For Animals in urging Delaware North leaders to release a global cage-free policy that extends the company’s current cage-free commitment to Australia, New Zealand, and all other Delaware North countries of operation.