Alimentation Couche-Tard, one of the largest convenience store operators in the world, has announced a new pledge to source only cage-free eggs for all stores globally by 2025, including at all of its franchised and licensed locations.
The new policy builds on the company's 2018 pledge to source cage-free eggs for its corporate-owned stores.
Alimentation Couche-Tard said the move reflects the increasing shift by leading food companies to require licensees and franchisees to eliminate caged eggs across global supply chains, as well as the increasing availability of cage-free supply in international markets such as Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean.
The Lever Foundation
Lever, a charity that works to create a more humane and sustainable protein supply chain in Asia, has been working to provide egg producers with expert advice, materials and resources to help them shift toward cage-free production and is assisting Couche-Tard in connecting franchisees to those suppliers.
Alimentation Couche-Tard operates over 14,000 stores, primarily under the Circle K banner, with over 9,000 in the U.S. and Canada, 2,500 in Europe, 1,200 in Asia across China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia, and 1,000 in North Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean and Latin America.
"We are constantly looking at ways we can do more and do better for our people, our customers, our planet and our prosperity," said Helena Winberg, director of global sustainability for Couche-Tard.
“We are proud to engage our global franchise community on our commitment to selling cage-free eggs in our stores and grateful for the support of Lever Foundation in our efforts."
'Key Sustainability Issue'
The new initiative was welcomed by Kirsty Tuxford, corporate engagement manager at Lever Foundation.
"We congratulate Alimentation Couche-Tard and Circle K for expanding their cage-free egg commitment to include all franchisees and licenses across their two dozen global markets, which will ensure the best quality for customers while also improving the welfare of egg-laying hens," she said.
"We encourage more convenience store chains and food companies generally to follow Alimentation Couche-Tard's great example on this key sustainability issue.”