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Dunkin’ Donuts to increase use of cage-free eggs

Chain also plans to phase out use of gestation crates for pork

Dunkin’ Donuts plans to further the work it has started toward eliminating the use of cages for its egg and pork supplies, the company said Monday.

By the end of the year, 10 percent of the eggs used in Dunkin’ Donuts breakfast sandwiches would be cage-free, an increase from the 5-percent commitment the company made in 2012. In addition, Dunkin’ said it would map its international supply chain to “understand the feasibility” of transitioning to 100-percent cage-free eggs.

Dunkin’ also said it plans to phase out the use of gestation crates for its pork supply by 2022. Gestation crates are highly restrictive cages used for sows during pregnancy.

The Canton, Mass.-based quick-service operator made the announcement in partnership with the Humane Society of the United States. Dunkin’ said it is working with suppliers and the society to update its animal welfare policy and meet target goals.

“Dunkin’ Brands and our franchisee community care about the welfare of animals and their humane treatment,” Christine Riley Miller, senior director of corporate social responsibility for Dunkin’s owner, Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc., said in a statement. “We set a goal to source 5 percent cage-free eggs by 2013, an accomplishment we are proud to have achieved. Now, working with our suppliers and the Humane Society of the United States, we are setting new commitments to help the egg and pork industries eliminate cages to demonstrate our responsibility to animal welfare and sourcing.”

Quick-service chains have been more focused on social responsibility and animal welfare in the past couple of years, as consumers have placed more importance on those issues in their restaurant choices.

As a result, more chains have emphasized these issues recently. McDonald’s Corp. has said that it plans to phase out the use of gestation crates for pork by 2022. In addition, more chains are phasing out the use of human antibiotics in chicken, and in some cases all antibiotics.

“Dunkin’s commitment to improve the lives of farm animals is taking another positive step,” Josh Balk, senior food policy director for the Humane Society, said in a statement. “This new policy is further testament that consumers and companies are aligned in shifting the egg and pork industries away from confining animals in cages.”

Contact Jonathan Maze at [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter: @jonathanmaze

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