Rite Aid has accelerated progress toward its commitment to sell 100% cage-free eggs to year-end 2022. The company had initially pledged to source cage-free eggs across its 2,289 retail locations by 2025. The new commitment expedites the timeline by three years.
“We commend Rite Aid for expediting its cage-free timeline to reduce the suffering of egg-laying hens in its supply chains,” said Vicky Bond, president of The Humane League. “We’ve seen a trend among socially responsible companies like Rite-Aid to stop sourcing eggs from hens kept in cruel battery cages and to speed up the implementation of their cage-free policies.”
Rite Aid’s accelerated commitment follows Walgreens and CVS Health, which also recently pledge to sell 100% cage-free eggs by the-end 2022.
Before making this animal welfare policy commitment, Rite Aid consulted with The Humane League, a global animal protection nonprofit with a mission to end the abuse of animals raised for food. The Humane League focuses on changing how the world’s biggest companies treat animals by setting new standards for corporate animal welfare policies. This work has been instrumental in securing many of the more than 500 cage-free pledges made by North American food companies.
The Humane League pointed out that confined hens live in cramped, filthy cages with six to 10 other birds—each with no more room than the space of an iPad. The cages are so small and crowded that hens cannot spread their wings or engage in natural or instinctive behaviors. Some hens, unable to move, end up trampled to death by their cage mates. Eliminating cage systems significantly improves the well-being of the hens raised in supply chains. While there is more to be done to make long-term changes to their quality of life, this is a significant first step for egg-laying hens.
As consumer demand for cage-free eggs grows, over 2,000 companies have committed to abandoning cages worldwide, including Nestlé, Aldi, InterContinental Hotels, Sodexo, Kraft Heinz, Compass Group, Shake Shack, Famous Brands, Costa Coffee, Burger King, Dunkin’, Krispy Kreme, Unilever and Barilla.