Leading food companies call on the EU to End the Cage Age


Leading food companies call on the EU to End the Cage Age

17 March 2021
Today, leading food companies across the EU sent a joint letter to the EU Commission and Members of the European Parliament calling for a phase out in the use of cages in animal farming, starting with enriched cages for laying hens.

ALDI Nord (retailer), Barilla Group, Fattoria Roberti (egg producer), Ferrero, Inter IKEA Group (retailer), Jamie Oliver Group, Le Groupement Les Mousquetaires (retailer), Mondelēz International, Nestlé, and Unilever co-signed the letter which emphasises that the business case for phasing out enriched cages for laying hens is strong, particularly at EU level. It notes that “cage-free systems are widespread, economically viable, and provide better living conditions for hens”.

The signatories stressed that the revision of the animal welfare legislation, which is currently under preparation, is the ideal opportunity to end the use of cages in animal farming across the EU - starting with caged laying hens. They also stated: “we are ready and willing to share our expertise and collaborate on achieving that goal”.

With many progressive companies already having phased out cages in their supply chains, it shows clearly that a cage-free future is possible and a profitable business, which is also the demand of the vast majority of EU consumers, as 94% of European citizens believe that protecting farmed animal welfare is important. Earlier this week, Eurogroup for Animals launched its campaign 'No Animal Left Behind', calling on the European Commission to meet these kinds of demands by committing to an ambitious revision of the animal welfare legislation.

2021 offers a very important window of opportunity for animal welfare in the EU: In the context of the Farm to Fork Strategy, a policy initiative by the European Commission with the overarching aim of making European food systems fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly, the European Commission is currently assessing the animal welfare legislation to evaluate whether it is fit for purpose. A review like this is not only rare, but also long overdue as Europe’s animal welfare laws do not protect billions of animals as countless investigations by Eurogroup for Animals’ members have shown over and over again.

The letter also commends the aims of the ‘End the Cage Age’ European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) which calls for the end of cages in animal farming across the EU. Together with 170 European NGOs, the ECI gained 1.4 million verified signatures and became the first successful ECI on farmed animal welfare.