List of establishments transitioning to cage-free eggs continues to grow
By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content
Consumers increasingly are asking where their food comes from. And farmers are adapting to meet new demands.
Recently, different restaurant chains have vowed to transition to cage-free eggs and two more just joined the list - A&W and Chick-fil-A.
A&W’s mission to make the change to cage-free eggs in Canada could be an ambitious one as the restaurant wants to have the transition done within two years.
In an attempt to make the process more efficient, A&W is providing Farm & Food Care Canada with a $100,000 grant to explore research with veterinarians, farmers, suppliers and others.
In a press release, Susan Senecal, President and Chief Operating Officer of A&W Food Services Canada, said the investment is trying to tackle the lack of viable cage-free options that meet A&W’s standards; in the same release, Dr. John Church, PhD, Natural Resource Science at Thompson Rivers University, said Canada has an opportunity to be a world leader when it comes to improving the health and welfare of laying hens.
Chick-fil-A's plan is to source 100 per cent cage-free eggs within the United States by 2026.
"With the majority of the egg industry currently relying on conventional hen houses, the transition to a new, cage-free system that can reliably and safely supply nationwide brands will take time,” said Rob Dugas, chief procurement officer and vice president of supply chain for Chick-fil-A in a press release.
“However, Chick-fil-A takes the transition seriously and has put in place a process to see the transition through."
Earlier in the year, Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) announced an industry-wide initiative to end egg production in conventional housing.
EFC estimates nearly 90 per cent of egg production is done in conventional housing and that by 2036, all production could be done in an enriched, free-run, aviary, or free-range environment.
Other establishments that have announced a transition to cage-free eggs include Tim Horton’s, Burger King, Starbucks, McDonald’s and various grocery stores.