American retail giant Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club announced their goal to transition to a 100% cage-free egg supply chain by 2025.
In a company statement, Kathleen McLaughlin, chief sustainability officer at Walmart, stated, “Our customers and associates count on Walmart and Sam’s Club to deliver on affordability and quality, while at the same time offering transparency into how their food is grown and raised.” McLaughlin continued, “Our commitment to transition to a cage-free egg supply chain recognizes that expectation and represents another step we are taking to improve transparency for food we sell in our U.S. stores and clubs.”
Per the company statement, Wal-Mart will transition to a 100% cage-free egg supply chain, based on available supply and customer demand by 2025. The company will require 100% of shell egg suppliers to be certified and fully compliant with United Egg Producers (UEP) Animal Husbandry Guidelines or equivalent standard, and challenge suppliers to use best management practices to improve the health and welfare of laying hens.
Animal welfare activists believe the announcement signifies considerable progress.
Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the U.S., told CBS News, “Since September, when McDonald’s announced its cage-free policy, we knew that we had turned the corner in the fight against battery cages. But today, that debate ends, and the trajectory is clear. The era of confining hens in cages in America’s food system is officially sunsetting.”
A copy of Wal-Mart’s press release is available here.
More information Walmart’s cage-free egg supply policy is available here.