ST. LOUIS — Panera Bread has announced that it will move to 100 percent cage free eggs by 2020.
The company reports is intends to move to 100 percent cage-free eggs in U.S. Panera Bread and St. Louis Bread Co. bakery-cafe food menus by 2020.
This will include shell eggs,hard-boiled and liquid egg whites in addition to those used in sweet goods, soufflés and dressings — a total of more than 120 million eggs system-wide annually.
The company is presently 21 percent cage-free relative to the approximately 70 million shell eggs, hard-boiled eggs and liquid egg whites prepared in cafe in 2015.
Panera defines cage-free hens as those raised in indoor barns that allow full range of movement.
All hens that supply shell eggs and hard-boiled eggs for Panera also meet the standards for no antibiotics ever and are fed a vegetarian-only diet.
Panera has also reported that in 2015, 100 percent of the chicken and roasted turkey served on Panera’s sandwiches and salads, more than 33 million pounds, is raised without antibiotics and fed a vegetarian diet only.
“For more than a decade, we’ve been working to reduce antibiotic use and confinement across our supply chain,” said founder and CEO Ron Shaich. “We are honored to have been recognized as one of the two best performing national restaurant companies in an independent report on antibiotics usage and transparency in September. While there is more work to be done, we are within reach of a menu without antibiotics and unnecessary confinement. 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.”
The company also stated that in 2015, Panera’s entire pork supply, approximately 7 million pounds, is gestation-crate free, raised without antibiotics an fed a vegetarian-only diet. In addition, the company in 2015 will serve more than 4 million pounds of beef, 89 percent from grass-fed, free range cattle.