Partnering with Compassion
Delaware North has been working with Compassion in World Farming since 2022, when the company recognised that there was more it might do to progress its cage-free commitment. Using EggTrack to help evaluate how the company compared to its competitors within the food service industry, Delaware North was able to assess its own welfare standards and take additional steps to realising its goal of responsible animal welfare policies.
Debbie Friedel, Director of Sustainability at Delaware North, commented: “Product availability and supply chain disruptions can present a real challenge to meeting our animal welfare commitments. Through consistent communication and feedback, we have benefited greatly from CIWF’s knowledge and expertise as we transition to 100% cage-free eggs by 2025.”
Facing the roadblocks
There have been numerous challenges in making the transition to a fully cage-free system. These include Avian Influenza, supply chain disruptions following the Covid-19 pandemic, current economic conditions affecting supply chain logistics and the overall cost of phasing out cages.
Further complication was due to the reality that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach for Delaware North in addressing each roadblock – neither by issue, nor by region. Countries operate under uniquely local conditions and Delaware North had to adjust accordingly to all the varying factors at play in each market where it operates.
Finding the solutions
Conversations with supplier partners were crucial to ensuring a successful transition from farming operations using cages. Through these conversations, Delaware North has been able to provide meaningful updates to internal and external stakeholders about how it is going to meet its commitment timelines of a cage-free system by 2025.
Delaware North director of procurement category management Danielle Whisnant notes, “We have had a highly positive experience working with supplier partners who share our cage-free egg goal. This makes it possible to access a variety of compliant cage-free products to meet our customers' needs today and into the future. It is based on a strong partnership: we communicate often to understand product needs, what is working and where we need to improve; managed order guidelines, field communication and training, and continual monitoring helps us stay on track to achieve our goal.”
By putting animal welfare at the heart of its responsible sourcing standards and commitment, Delaware North is reporting significant cage-free progress across its global operations through its first progress update.