In 2016, the South African Poultry Association reported that 80 million hens produced eggs – 96.4% in cages and 3.6% in barns and free-range systems.
On 14th November 2016, McDonald’s South Africa announced that it would implement a cage-free policy when it came to sourcing their eggs, and transition to a 100% cage-free supply chain by 2025. This comes after continued efforts of SAFCEI and other animal welfare organisations to engage McDonald’s South Africa on this.
Frank Molteno, past SAFCEI Board Chair and volunteer said:
“SAFCEI welcomes McDonald’s announcement with thankfulness. We congratulate McDonald’s on realising that this is the way of the future as more and more people of faith grasp that compassion can know no bounds because we all – all creatures – have the same source.”
At the same time, we are mindful of the terror, pain and suffering of the hens who will continue to lay McDonald’s’ eggs over the next 8 or 9 years as per McDonald’s’ timeline. Having ‘under-promised’ on the pace at which they can make the transition to cage-free eggs, we encourage McDonald’s to ‘over-deliver’ and beat their target of 2025 by as many years as possible.”
In 2019, there were two major victories for SAFCEI and the cage-free movement. After a campaign against the City Lodge Hotel Group (CLHG), they publicly announced a commitment to sourcing 100% cage-free eggs (shell, liquid, and ingredient) in all their hotels on the African continent by the end of 2025. The next giant to topple was Hotel Verde with operations in Cape Town (South Africa) and Zanzibar (Tanzania). After months of dialogue and two days of campaigning, they have committed to sourcing 100% cage-free eggs throughout their operations by 2025. Hotel Verde has also committed to report annually on their progress.
SAFCEI is encouraged by the unwavering determination from our many supporters who have helped to make this happen. We thank both Hotel Verde and the City Lodge Hotel Group for taking us a step closer to end the use of battery cages for hens in South Africa.
Globally, cage-free pledges from around 100 companies are going to spare about 60 million hens annually from battery cage confinement, and we are committed to saving more.