Panera makes cage-free commitment

by Erica Shaffer
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Panera Bread turkey sausage, egg white and spinach breakfast sandwich
Panera Bread announced its commitment to switching to cage-free eggs and egg products for its bakery-café foods.

ST. LOUIS – Panera Bread is the latest company to begin sourcing eggs from cage-free laying hens.

The chain said it plans to move to 100 percent cage-free eggs in US Panera Bread and St. Louis Bread Co. bakery-café foods by 2020. The standard applies to shell eggs, hardboiled and liquid egg whites in addition to eggs used in sweet goods, soufflés and dressings, the company said. This represents approximately 120 million eggs used system wide. 

Ron Shaich, founder, chairman and CEO of Panera
Ron Shaich, founder, chairman and CEO of Panera

Founder and CEO Ron Shaich said Panera has spent the past decade reducing products sourced from confined animals and animals given antibiotics. In September, Panera was recognized for their antibiotics policy and sourcing practices in a report and scorecard developed by several consumer, health and environmental groups.

“While there is more work to be done, we are within reach of a menu without antibiotics and unnecessary confinement,” Shaich said in a statement. “We are committed to transparency — which means sharing where we are and where we plan to go. We encourage other companies to join us by transparently sharing their progress.”

Panera also reported that the company’s entire supply of pork — approximately 7 million lbs. — is sourced from animals raised without antibiotics and gestation stalls. Additionally, 89 percent of the chain’s beef — approximately 4 million lbs. — is sourced from grass-fed cattle.

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