November 01, 2016

One of the largest supermarkets on Earth, Lidl, has joined the global cage egg boycott, agreeing to completely end its sourcing of eggs from cage farms by 2025. The new policy affects not only Lidl's shell eggs, but also applies to all private label products that contain eggs. From cookies to mayonnaise to baked goods, nothing sold under the Lidl label will contain eggs from caged hens.

German-based Lidl is an absolute giant in the global retail sector with over 11,500 locations in 27 countries - and is rapidly expanding. Lidl is known for its selling primarily private-label products and offering highly competitive price-points. Despite its low prices, Lidl has been a leader on animal welfare sourcing in the German market and is continuing that trend globally with this most recent commitment.

This will be among the first major corporate cage-free policies to affect many Eastern European countries, including Poland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Czech Republic. In addition, Lidl's stores in Austria, Belgium, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland and Sweden will have more progressive timelines, resulting in 100% cage-free sourcing by the end of 2016. Currently, Lidl sells only cage-free eggs at its stores in Germany and Netherlands and has recently announced public timelines to convert to cage-free sourcing in the UK and France.

In the last few months, The Humane League and our global coalition the Open Wing Alliance have engaged in productive dialogue with major companies that have resulted in the world's first global cage-free commitments. First, Sodexo and Compass Group became the first multinational foodservice companies to commitment to eliminating cages on a global scale. Now, with this commitment from Lidl as well as their competitor Aldi, the floodgates have been busted wide-open for commitments from other major retailers throughout Europe and beyond. As we continue to make global progress for farmed animals one thing is becoming abundantly clear: the days of caging hens are officially numbered.