SEATTLE – Starbucks Corp. intends to source only cage-free eggs in five years. The announcement marks the first time the foodservice chain has set a deadline to achieve its animal-welfare friendly goals.

Starbucks said the company has been buying cage-free eggs since 2008, and has made significant progress increasing its purchases of cage-free eggs year over year.

“While there is still work to be done across the industry to increase supply to address market conditions, we are committed to working with our suppliers toward our goal to be 100% cage-free by 2020,” the company said in its updated animal welfare-friendly practices document.

The company released its animal welfare-friendly practices in 2009, and pledged to establish buying preferences for suppliers that use industry best practices for animal welfare and processing. Starbucks’ areas of focus include supporting responsible use of antibiotics; eliminating the use of growth hormones and phasing out gestation crates for pigs and cages for chickens, among standards.

“Specifically, our priority is to ensure we offer food made with ingredients such as cage-free eggs, gestation crate-free pork, and poultry processed through more humane systems such as CAK,” the company explained. “For each focus area listed above, we’re working with the industry on creating reasonable timeframes.”