Sodexo USA, one of the largest foodservice companies in the nation, announced today that it would enhance its corporate animal welfare policy by switching to 100 percent cage-free eggs. Sodexo had already transitioned to cage-free suppliers for all 39 million shell eggs it purchases each year, and this latest announcement expands the policy to the 20 million pounds of liquid eggs purchased annually by the company. The transition to cage-free liquid eggs will take place over the next five years. Combined, these efforts will spare one million birds per year the suffering of extreme confinement in battery cages.
Sodexo’s policy change also extends to cows and pigs: the company will phase out veal crates, which cruelly cramp calves, by 2017; phase in pain management for excruciating mutilations, such as castration and dehorning; and eliminate tail docking whereby workers slice through animals’ sensitive nerves and tail bone. Sodexo previously committed to eliminating gestation crates, which prevent pigs from even turning around, by 2022.
Not only is Sodexo’s action significant because the company manages dining operations at thousands of colleges, hospitals, and corporate cafeterias across the country, but also because it reinforces the trend by massive corporations to implement more comprehensive, multi-animal welfare policies. At the same time, Sodexo’s announcement sets a powerful precedent for its competitors.
Mercy For Animals is proud to have supported the efforts of The Humane League that led to today’s victory. Our members contributed by reaching out to the company via calls and social media, proving that companies do respond to consumers’ demands.
Just a few months ago, Mercy For Animals persuaded Nestlé, the largest food company in the world, to implement the most sweeping corporate animal welfare policy to date, affecting animals in 7,300 supplier operations in 90 countries. Starbucks announced a similar policy shortly after. These announcements signal a new era in corporate responsibility—not just for these companies, but for the entire food industry.
It’s time for Walmart to take this cue and eliminate gestation crates for pigs. Visit WalmartCruelty.com to sign and share our petition calling on the company to allow pigs the room to turn around and engage in other basic movements.
And remember, by choosing humane vegan foods we can spare countless animals from the misery of factory farms. Visit ChooseVeg.com to order your free Vegetarian Starter Guide.