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June 21, 2010

The HSUS to Address Krispy Kreme Executives About Sustainability, Animal Welfare at Company’s Shareholder Meeting

At the annual shareholder meeting of Krispy Kreme (NYSE: KKD) on Tuesday, a representative of The Humane Society of the United States will ask the company to decrease animal cruelty and improve food sustainability in its supply chain by switching to cage-free eggs, as other food manufacturers have done.

Date: June 22 at 9 a.m.  

Location: Embassy Suites Hotel, Gaines Ballroom, 460 N. Cherry St., Winston-Salem

The HSUS recently purchased stock in the Winston-Salem-based company as part of its efforts encouraging Krispy Kreme to move away from egg suppliers that confine hens in cages—barren enclosures so tiny, the birds can't even spread their wings—as many other food companies have done. Krispy Kreme has said that it may purchase some cage-free eggs starting in 2012, but it has not developed a firm plan for doing so.

"Hens who produce eggs for Krispy Kreme donuts are crammed into cages so small, they're virtually immobilized for their entire lives," stated Matthew Prescott, corporate outreach director for The HSUS' factory farming campaign. "Krispy Kreme should join the growing sustainable food movement by creating a firm plan for switching to cage-free eggs, as Sara Lee and other companies have done."

Prompted in part by recent books and films—like Food Inc., Fast Food Nation, The Omnivore's Dilemma and Animal Factory—Americans are increasingly concerned about where their food comes from. A critical part of their concern is factory farming production methods, like the extreme confinement of hens in cages so small, each bird has less space than a sheet of paper on which to spend her entire life.

The New York Times has called cage-free eggs the food industry's "latest have-to-have-it product." Sara Lee, Hellmann's mayonnaise and dozens of restaurant chains—including Starbucks, Burger King, Denny's, Carl's Jr., Hardee's, Arby's, Golden Corral, Quiznos and Subway—have begun converting to cage-free eggs. Compass Group, the world's largest foodservice provider, has switched roughly 100 million eggs to cage-free. And supermarket chains including Wal-Mart, Costco, Harris Teeter, and Safeway have all increased their sales of cage-free eggs.

Facts

  • The vast majority of egg-laying hens are cruelly confined in cages so small the animals can barely move for their entire lives.
  • California and Michigan have passed laws to phase out the extreme confinement of hens in battery cages.
  • Cage-free hens generally have two to three times more space per bird than caged hens. Cage-free hens may not be able to go outside and like caged hens may have parts of their beaks cut off, but they can walk, spread their wings and lay their eggs in nests—all behaviors permanently denied to hens crammed into battery cages.
  • Battery cage operations typically confine birds in sheds with hundreds of thousands of other birds, causing environmental degradation—especially manure-related pollution. For this reason, numerous environmental and sustainability organizations are in favor of the egg industry switching to cage-free systems.
  • Studies have shown that not confining animals in cages may also improve food safety.

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Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching "HumaneTV" in the App Store.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.

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