Cage-free policies are gaining global momentum

October 05, 2016

In recent months, The Humane League has widened the geographic focus of its cage-free campaigns to build on the success that we have had in the United States and Latin America. These new international campaigns have lead to some of the most monumental victories in the history of the cage-free movement -- and we're just getting started.

Since hiring our first campaign coordinator in the United Kingdom in June, The Humane League has successfully worked with 10 leading food companies to produce public cage-free policies. Retailers Tesco, the number one grocer in the UK, and Iceland, the most affordable grocer in the UK, announced plans to source 100% cage-free eggs by 2025 in the first month of The Humane League's presence in the country. Within weeks of these public policies, other retailers including Morrison's and Asda announced similar commitments.

Now, just four months after establishing our presence in the UK, every one of the country's top 10 retailers have announced cage-free policies, representing about 95% of food retailer market share. We have also expanded our efforts to secure commitments from restaurant groups, resulting in recent policies from Whitbread and Casual Dining Group, who together represent a dozen popular restaurant chains.

Some of The Humane League's recent victories in the United Kingdom have been won in conjunction with Open Wing Alliance, our global coalition of animal protection organizations. Launched alongside the first global cage-free policy from Sodexo in July, Open Wing Alliance has grown to include 20 groups from around the world. Sodexo's groundbreaking policy impacted over 32,000 operations across 80 countries, bringing our movement to end cages into areas that have never seen cage-free commitments before. Only a week after Sodexo's announcement and after hearing from Open Wing Alliance, Aldi, one of the largest and most rapidly expanding supermarket chains in the world, announced their global cage-free policy.

Building off of the Sodexo policy, Open Wing Alliance and The Humane League worked with a coalition of international organizations to secure a global cage-free policy from the world's largest foodservice provider: Compass Group. The announcement is subsequent to Compass Group's commitment to source 100% cage-free eggs in the United States by 2019 after working with The Humane League in 2015. The foodservice company provides approximately 5 billion meals to many sectors in 50 countries with more than 50,000 locations worldwide, and a notably large presence in the United States, Canada, Western Europe, Japan, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Turkey, and Chile.

Compass Group's new worldwide cage-free egg policy will affect meals served in universities and schools, hospitals, sports and entertainment venues, offices, care homes, conference centers, cafes, retail stores, shopping centers, military sites, businesses, and corporations. This monumental global commitment will help eliminate cages from the egg industry, and will enable The Humane League and Open Wing Alliance to continue to encourage other foodservice providers, restaurants and grocers to produce similar commitments over the next year.

Our global work will only continue to expand. Earlier this year, The Humane League received an initial grant of $1 million dollars from Open Philanthropy Project to strengthen our corporate cage-free campaigns in the United States. Recently, Open Philanthropy Project awarded The Humane League an additional $1 million grant to grow our work to end confinement of hens in Latin America and Europe and to support, for the first time, an expansion into Japan.

Thanks to the support and dedication of our volunteers and donors, The Humane League has played an essential role in eliminating cages in the US. We are taking what we have learned, sharing it with organizations around the world, and bringing our campaign to every corner of the globe. And we won't stop until cages are history.