A City Lodge Hotel Group (CLHG) breakfast is the highlight of the day for many guests, with an estimated 1.4 million eggs consumed per year. It will soon have a feel-good as well as a taste-good component as the group announces its commitment to transitioning to 100% cage-free eggs throughout its operations by 2025.
This will include shell eggs, liquid eggs and processed products that contain eggs. The group has partnered with Humane Society International-Africa (HSI-Africa) on its journey towards offering eggs and egg-products sourced in a more welfare-friendly manner across all of its hotels.
“Food is an important component of our overall offering to guests and we are committed to the switch to cage-free eggs,” says Ross Phinn, divisional director: operations at CLHG. “This is one of several steps that CLHG is taking on its sustainability, environmentally-friendly and responsible tourism journey.”
According to HSI-Africa, most egg-laying hens in South Africa spend their entire lives confined in wire battery cages, where each hen is offered less space than the size of an A4 piece of paper. That means the hens are unable to flap their wings, nest, perch, move around or perform any of their other natural behaviours.
These hens are often in a state of chronic social stress due to extreme overcrowding. Battery cages are considered one of the cruellest forms of factory farming practices, with birds enduring immense suffering.
Leozette Roode, media and outreach manager for HSI-Africa, says: “HSI-Africa has been working with City Lodge Hotel Group for more than two years on their journey to adopting a 100% cage-free egg policy, and we commend the leadership of the organisation for deciding to join the global movement towards higher animal welfare standards. Consumers rely on food companies to ensure high standards of animal care in their supply chains, and CLHG is taking the lead to improve the lives of animals in South Africa’s food system.
"This move will relieve thousands of egg-laying hens from a life of extreme confinement, and sends a clear message to the egg industry that the future of egg production is cage-free. We are looking forward to working with CLHG to implement this commitment and encourage other food service providers to follow their example.”
Increasingly, consumers of eggs are moving towards cage-free eggs, as seen in the food manufacturing, retail and broader hospitality industries including fast food chains. CLHG joins this movement in support of a more humane egg sourcing supply chain.