McDonald’s USA announced Thursday that it has reached a milestone with 33 percent of its egg supply converted to cage-free, delivering meaningful progress towards its 10-year commitment to source 100 percent cage-free eggs by 2025. This milestone means that 726 million cage-free eggs will be sourced for McDonald’s U.S. restaurants in 2019.

“McDonald’s uses more than 2 billion eggs a year in the United States, so the move to 100 percent cage-free eggs by 2025 is a huge undertaking that we knew we could not do by ourselves,” says Marion Gross, SVP and Chief Supply Chain Officer, North America for McDonald’s. “We’re proud of the progress that we, along with our suppliers and farmers, have made in the years since our announcement and look forward to reaching our goal by 2025.”

Adds Peter Forsman, Owner of Forsman Farms, a member of McDonald’s supply chain, “Initially, our family was unsure of our ability to convert our farm to cage-free egg production, as well as the benefits of a conversion based on the time, investment and training needed to make such a change. However, after we committed to converting our production, we saw the positive impact to our business. Currently, 100 percent of the eggs from our farm that go into McDonald’s supply chain are cage-free and many of our other customers will be making the change, as well.”

Each supplying farm incorporates different solutions as they transition to cage-free, which include time and financial investments across the supply chain, as well as technology and infrastructure upgrades for both suppliers and farmers. The Forsman’s, for example, chose to build entirely new barns to support this way of farming, and incorporated mobile application technology to create efficiencies in managing lighting and temperature within the barns. Other producers are actively updating current farms to include cage-free aviaries and one has even installed heated floors to ensure dry, quality floor cover for birds no matter the time of year. To support farmers and build on their individual learnings, McDonald’s hosts a Cage-Free Egg Summit each year, convening all of its egg-supplying farmer partners to share best practices and problem solve in a pre-competitive, open forum.

“As McDonald’s USA’s egg supplier, the commitment they made to source 100 percent cage-free eggs represented a shift not only for our business with them, but for the industry, given their position as a leader,” says Norm Stocker, Vice President of Food Service—Poultry at Cargill. “Consumer preferences are changing and people are increasingly interested in how their food is sourced. McDonald’s has led the way, with a thoughtful and measured approach to switching to cage-free eggs to meet consumer demand at a massive size and scale.”

In partnership with its supply chain, McDonald’s will continue to build on the progress and momentum to accomplish the goal of sourcing 100 percent cage-free eggs, equivalent to more than 2.2 billion eggs annually, in all McDonald’s U.S. restaurants by 2025.

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