The Humane Society of the United States praises food service provider’s landmark commitment to animal welfare for its cage-free egg pledge
WASHINGTON (October 10, 2005) — Today, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) announced a major victory in its campaign to end one of the most abusive practices in animal agribusiness. After discussions with The HSUS, Bon Appétit Management Company has pledged to start selling only eggs from uncaged birds in all of its corporate, university, and specialty venues throughout the United States.
Beginning November 15th, Bon Appétit will phase in cage-free shell eggs over a 12 month period. The company’s ultimate goal is for all its eggs to be completely cage-free. The company has also pledged to only purchase eggs from sources that meet the animal care standards of Humane Farm Animal Care, an independent farm animal welfare certifying organization. The roll-out will begin in Bon Appétit’s East Coast cafes, reaching all 190 locations throughout the Bon Appetit system by November 15th, 2006.
“Bon Appétit has taken a powerful stand against cruelty to animals. Its decision to use only cage-free eggs will have a far-reaching effect on other companies, suppliers, and consumers, as it will drive changes in egg sourcing practices for the entire food service industry. We applaud Bon Appétit’s decision and ask other companies to follow its example,” said Wayne Pacelle, HSUS President and CEO.
Bon Appétit serves more than 55 million meals each year, with nearly 200 dining facilities in 26 states, and it uses more than 8 million shell eggs annually. This decision reflects its commitment to socially responsible food sourcing.
“We’re proud to be the first restaurant company to transition towards exclusively offering cage-free eggs to our customers,” said Fedele Bauccio, CEO of Bon Appétit Management Company. “Food that is responsibly sourced is better for our health, our communities and the world in which we live. This is why we joined The HSUS in support of animal welfare.”
Approximately 95 percent of eggs sold in the United States come from hens confined in barren “battery cages,” wire enclosures so small the birds can’t spread their wings or engage in many other natural behaviors, such as nesting, foraging, perching, and dust bathing. The cages provide each bird with less floor space than a single sheet of paper on which to live.
In 2005, Whole Foods Market and Wild Oats Natural Marketplace—two of the nation’s largest natural foods retailers— announced that they’ve eliminated the sale of eggs laid by chickens confined in battery cages. Two other natural food chains, Jimbo’s Naturally and Earth Fare, recently followed suit. Several colleges and universities switched to or are phasing in cage-free eggs, including George Washington University, Grinnell College, University of Connecticut, University of Rochester and Vassar College.
About the Humane Society of the United States
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization with more than 9 million members and constituents. The HSUS is a mainstream voice for animals, with active programs in companion animals and equine protection, wildlife and habitat protection, animals in research, and farm animal welfare. The HSUS protects all animals through education, investigation, litigation, legislation, advocacy, and field work. The non-profit organization is based in Washington and has field representatives across the country. On the web at hsus.org.
About Bon Appétit Management Company
Bon Appétit Management Co. is an onsite restaurant company offering full food service management by providing café and catering service to specialty venues, universities and corporations. Bon Appétit is committed to sourcing sustainable, local food supplies for all cafés throughout the country. Based in Palo Alto, CA., Bon Appétit has more than 190 cafés in 26 states. www.bamco.com