Dr. Oetker pledges to go 100% cage-free

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Dr. Oetker has pledged to use 100% cage free eggs across its international operations by 2025. Pic: GettyImages
Dr. Oetker has pledged to use 100% cage free eggs across its international operations by 2025. Pic: GettyImages

Related tags Dr oetker Cage-free eggs sustainability charter Animal welfare

The German bakery multinational has pledged to source 100% cage-free eggs and egg ingredients across its global supply chain by 2025.

From its humble beginnings as a pharmacy opened in 1891 by Dr August Oetker, Dr. Oetker has grown into a mighty force within the food industry, pulling in over $8bn in annual sales across the baking category. It also produces a raft of products for the frozen pizza, desserts, muesli and beverage categories.

While Dr. Oetker had already committed to using solely cage-free eggs in its European markets under its Sustainability Charter for the years 2019-2022, the new pledge extends this commitment to cover all its international operations by 2025.

The company operates 45 brands across 40 countries, including Malaysia, South Korea, India and Australia.

Prioritising responsible sourcing

Eggs xveron90x
Pic: GettyImages

Under the Charter, the company aims to “reduce the ecological and social consequences of factory farming [by] working to improve husbandry, catching, slaughtering and transport for the products we source.”

“How do we preserve our one earth for future generations and help ensure it can feed us all? We at Dr. Oetker have decided to take a big step forward with our Sustainability Charter. For our planet and all the people whose lives we influence with our actions. For the people who buy and enjoy our products. And for those who work on them.” - ​Dr Albert Christmann, general partner of Dr. August Oetker KG, the holding company of the Oetker Group and chairman of the Dr. Oetker Executive Board.

“In Europe, this is already exclusively the case, and currently 98.5% internationally,” ​the Bielefeld-based company said in an updated statement.

“We have laid this down as a clear requirement in our respective specifications and thus in the corresponding supplier contracts. For newly acquired companies, we grant transition periods in accordance with existing supply contracts for a maximum of three years.”

Dr. Oetker joins a growing cohort of food companies that have pledged to using only cage-free eggs, among them Associated British Foods, Bakkavor, Unilever, Nestle, Mondelez and Danone. An increasing number of consumers are also reducing or eliminating eggs from their meals entirely, the most significant way to protect the welfare of hens.

“We congratulate Dr. Oetker on its expanded global cage-free egg policy, which will spare egg-laying hens around the world from intensive cage confinement,” ​said Kristy Tuxford, corporate engagement manager for Lever Foundation. The NGO has staff operating across Asia, Europe, North America and Latin America, and works with companies to help them upgrade their protein sourcing for a more humane, safe and sustainable supply chain.

“This expanded global pledge shows Dr. Oetker's dedication to prioritising responsible sourcing practices while enhancing the quality of its products for its customers.”

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