Sodexo announces new commitment to a phased-in approach to sourcing all egg products exclusively from cage-free hens
March 03, 2015
Sodexo takes additional steps within its animal welfare policy in Canadian operations today by extending its previous commitments to source all of its shell eggs from cage-free systems by now moving to source all of its liquid eggs solely from cage-free hens by the end of 2020.
Every year, more than 60 billion animals are raised worldwide for food. The intensity and level of magnitude involved with animal production tends to create pressure for efficiencies, but unfortunately they are too often associated with significant and widespread animal welfare concerns. Appropriate animal husbandry practices from transportation, to housing, feeding and veterinary care play a key role in reducing those concerns.
Sodexo’s Global Animal Welfare Policy provides general guidelines and standards, which are often exceeded in Canadian operations. “With an annual spend of nearly $23 million on animal proteins in Canada, Sodexo has established sustainable purchasing practices with suppliers that drive humane treatment of animals throughout our supply chain,” said Tracey Durand, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Sodexo Canada. “We see animal welfare, including these new measures for cage-free eggs, as a key component of a sustainable supply chain alongside food safety, food security, nutrition and science-based environmental practices.”
Sodexo currently sources about 800 thousand pounds of liquid eggs annually. It will now move to sourcing liquid eggs only from cage-free hens with a phased-in approach that will be complete by the end of 2020.
Sodexo first reinforced its commitment to conducting business in a responsible and sustainable manner in 2009 by launching the Better Tomorrow Plan—its global roadmap to sustainability. That plan specifically called on the company to work with its suppliers to improve animal welfare in all the countries where it operates by 2015. In line with its ongoing progress, Sodexo continues to require passing scores on annual third-party animal welfare audits from its fully integrated suppliers.
For a company with operations in 80 countries at more than 32,700 sites, addressing animal welfare is a tremendous undertaking, largely due to the complexities of a global supply chain and differences in agriculture practices around the world. Despite the challenges, building valued partnerships with affected suppliers, leading authorities and credible organizations is instrumental in achieving progress and educating stakeholders about the issue.
While the work is not yet complete, Sodexo is proud of the advances it continues to make and the recognition it has achieved. This month, for example, Sodexo was ranked for the eighth consecutive year as the best-performing company for economic, social and environmental performance in the benchmark RobecoSAM Sustainability Yearbook 2015, earning it Industry Leader and Gold Class recognition. The industry award specifically calls out a concern for animal welfare and ethical sourcing as driving factors for global supply chains.