Restaurant Brands International (RBI) will become 100 % cage-free. The restaurant group owns Tim Hortons, Popeyes and Burger King – the fifth largest fast food chain in the world. All three companies have committed to no longer use cage eggs worldwide. This is the result of a global campaign by the Open Wing Alliance (OWA), an association of 80 animal protection groups.
In Germany, the Albert Schweitzer Foundation successfully put pressure on RBI’s management with online campaigns and a petition. More than 285,000 people have signed the petition since its launch on October 27. Battery cages have been banned in Germany since 2010 and enriched cages (for small groups of hens) will be forbidden from 2028 on. However, they are still used in other EU countries and the rest of the world.
Burger King, Tim Hortons and Popeyes will source cage-free eggs for all locations and for all their products. This also includes products like mayonnaise, which contain eggs as an ingredient. In Western Europe, North and Latin America as well as Oceania, the transition will be completed by 2025. RBI commits to submitting annual progress reports.
Mahi Klosterhalfen, CEO and President of the Albert Schweitzer Foundation, comments: »In Europe alone, half of all laying hens still live in cages, but the customers’ acceptance of this is rapidly decreasing. Burger King and other leading fast food chains finally deciding against this practice reduces the suffering of millions of animals. These days, no company can afford to support the use of cages. We have already convinced many companies to ban cages. Ultimately we will put an end to caged farming in Europe.«
Battery farming and enriched cages for small groups mean a life in tiny cages and on grid floors for hens. They can hardly move, let alone behave naturally. It is not uncommon that their feet, wings or heads get caught in the grid, leaving the hens seriously injured. Sometimes hens may even get crushed by others because of the little space available.
The Open Wing Alliance (OWA) advocates for chickens in factory farming worldwide. Following its demands, numerous companies have already completely abandoned eggs from caged hens. Among them are Unilever, Nestlé, Aldi, InterContinental Hotels, Sodexo, Mondelez, Compass Group, Shake Shack, Famous Brands, Costa Coffee and Barilla.