- Alimentation Couche-Tard, the parent company of convenience store chain Circle K, is committing to using cage-free eggs across its entire global footprint by 2025, according to a recent press release.
- While the company had previously committed to cage-free eggs for corporate stores in 2018, the new policy extends that commitment to several thousand franchised and licensed stores in 12 more countries, according to an email from a spokesperson from the Lever Foundation, which helps companies upgrade protein supply chains to more humane and sustainable options.
- Couche-Tard said in the press release that it is making good progress on meeting its cage-free egg target for the corporate stores that make up about two-thirds of its roughly 14,000 locations, and expects momentum to grow alongside adoption of cage-free egg production.
With California and Massachusetts already requiring eggs to be cage-free by law and 12 other states outlawing either production or sales of eggs from chickens in cages in the next few years, the cage-free egg supply chain should continue to broaden.
Couche-Tard blamed supply chain issues for why it took several years to get its full store footprint to commit to cage-free eggs. In order for those stores to be comfortable with the change, “they needed access to reputable and sustainable suppliers, which until recently has been challenging in some regions,” Couche-Tard said in its release.
However, competition for cage-free eggs is also growing. Convenience stores have been making the transition toward cage-free eggs for years. In 2018, Rutter’s announce that it would be going cage-free across all operations, and before that, 7-Eleven made a pledge to be cage-free by 2025.
Convenience stores are far from alone in this change. Drugstore majors CVS and Walgreens recently completed their transitions as well, while grocery store chains like Kroger’s, Albertsons and Delhaize America have also set goals for 2025.
Couche-Tard has more than 14,000 stores worldwide, mostly under the Circle K brand, including over 9,000 in the U.S. and Canada; 2,500 in Europe; 1,200 in 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.”