Michael Foods, General Mills announce cage-free plans

Companies transitioning to meet growing demand of cage-free eggs.

The Michael Foods division of Post Holdings Inc., a consumer packaged goods holding company, announced this week that it will continue to invest in cage-free production to meet growing demand for cage-free eggs.

Michael Foods is one of the nation’s largest egg producers and the largest provider of cage-free egg products in the U.S. The company said it pays close attention to all issues affecting the national egg supply, including customer needs, consumer demand for egg products, and hen housing systems. In fact, Michael Foods is a founding member of the Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply (CSES), an alliance of egg farmers, retailers, foodservice operators, food manufacturers, and academics.

In addition to investing in cage-free production systems, the company said it will also continue to be an advocate for cage-free egg products with consumers and customers. As customers seek to transition to cage-free eggs and egg products, Michael Foods will ensure the shift happens in a way that is reasonable and sustainable for all stakeholders, including the dedicated farmers who are the foundation of the egg supply system, the company said.

“Cage-free is emerging as the likely future of the egg industry,” said Jim Dwyer, Michael Foods’ president and chief executive officer. “Our customers are increasingly requesting cage-free eggs and products made from cage-free eggs. We are actively working with our customers and suppliers to transition to cage-free housing to anticipate demand.”

General Mills also recently made an announcement related to cage-free egg production. In July, the company committed to sourcing only cage-free eggs but did not provide a timeline. However, it has now committed to working toward 100% cage-free eggs for its U.S. operation by 2025, the same timeline Kellogg’s recently set.

“Eggs are an important ingredient in many of our products, and we strive to ensure that the hens laying these eggs are treated humanely,” the company’s updated animal welfare policy noted.

General Mills brands include Betty Crocker, Bisquick, Pillsbury, Progresso soups, Yoplait yogurt, and Cheerios. General Mills’ largest international business Häagen-Dazs currently sources 100% free-range eggs for all its ice cream produced in Europe.

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