Sodexo expands its animal welfare policy

The global food management firm says it will eliminate veal crates from the supply chain and switch to cage-free eggs.

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GAITHERSBURG, Md.—Sodexo said it plans to eliminate crate-raised veal from its supply chain by 2017 and will source all of its liquid eggs from cage-free hens by 2020.

Sodexo currently sources about 20 million pounds of liquid eggs annually, from 750,000 egg-laying hens.

The veal-crate decision expands on Sodexo’s commitment in 2012 to eliminate gestation crates from the pork supply chain by 2022. That pledge remains intact, the company said. It didn’t state how much of the veal it currently purchases might come from calves raised in crates.

“With an annual spend of nearly $900 million on animal proteins in the U.S., Sodexo has established sustainable purchasing practices with suppliers that drive humane treatment of animals throughout our supply chain,” said Deborah Hecker, Sodexo’s vice president, sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

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.

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