The Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply recently announced the addition of four new members: Bob Evans Farms Inc., Daybreak Foods Inc., Iowa State University and United Egg Producers. The coalition’s goal is to evaluate the viability of various laying hen housing systems by considering the impact of multiple variables on system sustainability, including environmental impact, food safety, worker safety, animal health and well-being, and food affordability.

“At Bob Evans, we believe in a holistic approach to animal well-being,” said Sommer Mueller, DVM, director of food safety and regulatory compliance for Bob Evans Farms Inc. “We are proud to be part of this coalition, which takes a similar approach to a sustainable egg supply, looking at the balance of food safety, food affordability, animal health and well-being, the environment and worker safety.”

Wendy Wintersteen, dean of Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, said, “Iowa State has a rich tradition of using research to provide practical, science-based solutions for agriculture and our work in the CSES will build on that tradition.”

A commercial-scale study of housing alternatives for egg-laying hens in the United States is in development, lead by Michigan State University and the University of California-Davis. The study will include cage-free aviary, enriched housing including nests and perches, and the caged housing environments currently used by the majority of the contemporary U.S. food supply system. The goal of the research is to help food companies and other organizations make informed decisions that are ethically grounded, scientifically verified, economically viable and in alignment with consumer desires.

The membership of CSES includes the American Humane Association, Cargill Kitchen Solutions, McDonald’s USA, Michigan State University and University of California-Davis, along with member-advisors American Veterinary Medical Association and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service. The Environmental Defense Fund is a non-member advisor to the coalition.