Last updated on Jan 25th, 2021 at 09:02 am

Humane Society International announced another victory for South Africa’s egg-laying hens on Thursday, September 15

Compass Group, the world’s leading food service company with operations in 50 countries and serving around 4 billion meals a year, announced today that it will source only cage-free eggs global supply chain by 2025.

Humane Society International and The Humane Society of the United States have worked with Compass Group around the globe for several years on this and other animal welfare issues.

Compass Group joins a growing number of companies that have committed to cage-free egg policies worldwide including Alsea, Unilever, Grupo Bimbo and Nestlé. In South Africa, Woolworth’s has adopted a cage-free egg policy, and cage-free and free-range eggs can also be found at Pick and Pay, Checkers, and Spar.

Compass Group serves over 450 entities in SA

Compass Group Southern Africa serves more than 450 corporates, hospitals, mining villages, schools and various higher-educational institutions. The group comprises of five divisions KKS, Compass Game Park Services (managing all the restaurants and catering requirements in the Kruger National Park), Gham Gourmet, ESS, and Supercare.

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Chetana Mirle, director of HSI Farm Animals, said: “By adopting a worldwide commitment to only source cage-free eggs, Compass Group will improve the lives of millions of animals each year. The cage-free egg movement has clearly become one of global significance, and we look forward to working with more companies on similar policies.”

In its statement, Nicki Crayfourd, Director of Group Health, Safety and Environment at Compass Group PLC, commented, “Improving the welfare of farm animals is a key focus for our business and we’ve supported the sourcing of cage free eggs since 2009. This commitment marks the next step in our journey and we look forward to continuing to work with partners such as Compassion in World Farming, Humane Society International and The Humane League who provide invaluable support and guidance.”

Why is this important?

South Africans need to be knowledgeable about food processes, food safety and sustainability standards. Some statistics:

  • Today, approximately 95% of South Africa’s eggs come from hens confined in battery cages.
  • 46 million hens are raised for their eggs.
  • Research has shown egg production operations that confine hens in cages have higher rates of Salmonella compared to those that are cage-free.