Sodexo Inc., a leading institution service provider, announced that by July 2014, all of the 39 million shelled eggs it purchases each year will be sourced from cage-free hens. It is a decision applauded by The Humane Society of the United States, which says the shift will improve the welfare of nearly 150,000 hens annually. The announcement comes just weeks after Sodexo committed to the removal of gestation stalls from its pork supply chain.

"Shifting to cage-free eggs is just one more way Sodexo is proactively implementing commitments under The Better Tomorrow Plan, our roadmap for sustainability," said Deborah Hecker, vice president, sustainability and CSR, Sodexo. "Our decision to source shelled eggs exclusively from hens in a cage-free environment specifically addresses our commitments to buy local, seasonal or sustainably grown or raised products."

With more than 6,000 clients in settings that include education, health care, government and corporate dining operations, Sodexo in North America serves 10 million customers daily. By committing to source cage-free shelled eggs for this vast customer base, Sodexo stands to make a significant contribution to improving the welfare of laying hens.

"Sodexo's move on procurement of shell eggs from more humane sources reflects a strong commitment to hen welfare," said Josh Balk, director of corporate policy for the Humane Society of the United States. "We are grateful that the company has exhibited such leadership in improving the treatment of farm animals within its supply chain."

Source: Sodexo Inc.