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McDonald’s achieves cage-free egg sourcing goal in the U.S.

Achievement of sourcing 100% cage-free eggs in U.S. reached two years ahead of original timeline.

Krissa Welshans

February 8, 2024

2 Min Read
McDonald's

McDonald’s has met its goal of sourcing 100% cage-free eggs in the U.S. by 2025, two years ahead of the original timeline.

“We continue to prioritize the health and welfare of the animals in our supply chain, and we’re excited to take another meaningful step in that work,” the company said, adding that earlier timeline was achieved thanks to the power of the McDonald's System working together towards a shared goal.

“As a U.S. System, we purchased almost 2 billion eggs in 2023 – that’s close to six times the U.S. population! Since we made the decision in 2015 to switch to purchasing cage-free eggs in the U.S., we put action behind our commitment. This included every leg of McDonald's three-legged stool - owner/operators, suppliers and company employees – working together to support our supply chain transformation.”

McDonald’s noted that creating a cage-free egg supply at this scale wouldn't have been possible without the support of Cargill and its egg producers, including Minnesota-based fourth-generation family business Forsman Farms.

“As a family, we sat down and said, 'Are we going to be able to do it?',” said Peter Forsman, owner of Forsman Farms. “We had zero cage-free systems, and we knew this was going to be a big challenge.”

As U.S.-based egg producers actioned the changes necessary to qualify as cage-free, McDonald’s and Cargill were there in lockstep to support through the transition.

The company engaged animal welfare experts and academics to help egg producers build and renovate their farms and implement new technology. This included Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch, a fourth-generation family business in Michigan, operating since 1958 and supplying Cargill for the McDonald’s system for decades.

“I really can't say enough about our partnership with Cargill and McDonald's. They understand the difficulties that we have,” said Herb Herbruck, president of Herbruck's Poultry Ranch. “They want to hear about our challenges, and they want to help us through them.”

The collective actions across the company’s U.S. system to achieve the goal is a reminder of the company’s purpose of feeding and fostering communities — by advancing the safety and the quality of our food and prioritizing animal welfare in our supply chain. Reaching this milestone is another step in the right direction, the company said.

"Our journey to move to sourcing 100% cage-free eggs in the U.S. was a huge undertaking — made uniquely possible by our owner/operators, Cargill and their egg producers, and our supply chain working together as one team," said Bob Stewart, senior vice president and North America chief supply chain officer for McDonald’s. “I am incredibly proud of what we achieved together and the positive impact we will continue to make on the path toward a more sustainable future.”

 

About the Author(s)

Krissa Welshans

Livestock Editor

Krissa Welshans grew up on a crop farm and cow-calf operation in Marlette, Michigan. Welshans earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Michigan State University and master’s degree in public policy from New England College. She and her husband Brock run a show cattle operation in Henrietta, Texas, where they reside with their son, Wynn.

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