Within the last six months or so, we've worked with many of the biggest names in the food business to announce their commitment to stop selling eggs from caged hens. Aramark, Compass Group, Dunkin Brands, Hilton, Kellogg, Nestle, Sodexo, Starbucks, and Walmart have all made public pledges to shift their egg-purchasing practices away from battery cage confinement systems. Today, we're pleased to announce that General Mills, one of the nation's largest food makers, is joining the list.
"We commit to working toward 100 percent cage free eggs for our US operations," says General Mills - which owns brands like Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Progresso Soups, and Hamburger Helper - in its new policy. "We recognize that the current avian influenza outbreak has been deeply disruptive to the US egg supply and producers. As the industry works to rebuild its supply chain, we will work with suppliers to determine a path and reasonable timeline toward this commitment."
General Mills is grounding its policy on the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare, a set of principles that will translate into better outcomes for all of the animals in its supply chain. With the Five Freedoms in mind, the company's policy pledges continual improvement by also examining solutions to solve other key animal welfare concerns, including subjecting animals to tail docking, de-horning, and, without the administration of pain killers, castration. It's also translating into an examination of issues related to rapid growth of broiler chickens and turkeys.