As we approach the January 1st implementation date for California's Proposition 2 and A.B. 1437– two historic animal welfare laws that ban the production and sale of eggs from hens kept in extreme confinement – I'm elated to share the news of the decision by Starbucks to put in place a North American cage-free egg policy, as part of a broader set of commitments concerning animal welfare. We've called on major food retailers to get on board with the principles of Prop 2 and to adhere to a cage-free standard, and Starbucks is today committing to do this and more. We hope that other major retailers in California and throughout the nation will follow the lead of Starbucks – one of the biggest brands in food and beverage.
We've been working for years with this enormous company – which has more than 12,000 retail outlets in the United States, including more than 2,000 locations in California – to improve its animal welfare standards. Today Starbucks pledged to do the following:
- Phase out gestation crates for pigs and cages for chickens.
- Eliminate the use of artificial growth hormones, and for poultry, artificial fast growing practices that cause chickens to suffer chronic pain.
- End the dehorning, tail docking, and castration of animals without anesthesia.
- Move away from inhumane chicken slaughter practices.
On a statement on its website, Starbucks announced: "Specifically, our priority is to ensure we offer food made with ingredients such as cage-free eggs, gestation crate-free pork, and poultry processed through more humane systems such as CAK [controlled atmosphere killing]. For each focus area listed above, we're working with the industry on creating reasonable timeframes. As one example, we have significantly expanded our cage-free egg offerings since 2008, increasing our purchases year over year, and are committed to continue to do so."