Sodexo doesn’t want you to know its secrets. The foodservice provider, which serves schools, university dining halls, hospitals, and office buildings around the country, sources its ingredients from factory farms that perpetuate the worst forms of animal cruelty. These industrial farms condemn millions of pigs, chickens, and egg-laying hens to a lifetime of misery—confined in dark sheds, trapped in their own waste, and suffering from excruciating injuries every day.
Sodexo promised its clients and consumers that the company would “[uphold] the highest standards of corporate responsibility” and end these horrific abuses. Yet, the company hasn’t made adequate progress toward fulfilling these promises. Sodexo’s failure to live up to its responsibilities harms the millions of animals suffering in its supply chains, misleads consumers, and puts its clients’ reputations at risk.
It’s time for Sodexo to stop hiding behind empty promises and make real progress—for the animals and for its customers. Tell Sodexo to do the right thing and stop serving animal cruelty.
As more institutions prioritize environmental, social, and government responsibility when making foodservice choices, Sodexo is falling behind the times. Other foodservice providers are leading the way with strong animal welfare policies, and they’re taking steps to follow through on their promises. Meanwhile, Sodexo—a self-proclaimed “industry leader”—is leaving clients in the dark on animal welfare.
Chickens raised for Sodexo's suppliers endure the worst forms of abuse imaginable—from the day they are born, to the day they are violently killed. The chicken industry condemns birds to a life of suffering from day one by selectively breeding them to grow so large, so fast, they can barely support their own weight. Their explosive growth rate predisposes chickens to a host of horrific diseases and injuries, including white striping disease. Some chickens can't even stand up or move, leaving them trapped on a filthy factory farm floor, lying in their own waste.
After 4 to 6 weeks of suffering through these conditions, a chicken's short life comes to an end at the slaughterhouse, where they will experience even more gruesome treatment. These slaughterhouses shackle birds upside-down by their ankles, slit their throats, and submerge them in scalding tanks. Many birds are still conscious when they enter the scalding tank, leaving them to be boiled alive.
Sodexo said it would stop supporting these horrific practices, but it has yet to take real action steps or make a plan to stop this cruelty. Because of the company's empty promises, millions of birds are suffering—and time is running out.
Despite making initial progress by switching a portion of its egg supply to be cage-free, some Sodexo suppliers still trap egg-laying hens in battery cages for the majority of their lives, packing a typical hen into a space the size of a sheet of paper with up to ten other birds. These archaic cages confine birds so tightly that they can't even stretch out their wings, let alone engage in any of their natural behaviors. The cage's abrasive wire-mesh material digs into hens' feet and feathers, leaving them with painful lesions and even lifelong foot deformities. As a result of their intensive confinement, intelligent, sensitive hens spend every day in physical and mental agony.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Other industry leaders already source 100% cage-free eggs. Meanwhile, Sodexo originally promised to eliminate cages in the US by 2020 (and switch to 100% cage-free shell eggs by 2014), but after adopting a global policy pushed back its timeline to 2025 instead of accelerating progress in the US. After reporting relatively similar numbers since 2019, it’s time for Sodexo to start making consistent progress to reach 100% cage-free.
Mother pigs are loving, emotional, and fiercely protective of their babies—but Sodexo's suppliers abuse and exploit them like they are nothing more than machines. These factory farms keep pregnant pigs—known as breeding sows—in crates that are barely bigger than their own bodies. A sow will spend the entirety of her four-month pregnancy in a seven-foot by two-foot gestation crate, restricted so tightly that she can't even turn around. The stress of confinement weakens a pig's cardiac function, immune system, and bone strength, and the pressure of the cage against her body leaves her with painful sores and abrasions. Gestation crates also cause severe mental anguish, with female pigs exhibiting signs of boredom and even depression.
This intensive confinement is so cruel that several states, including Massachusetts and California, have voted to make gestation crates illegal, and large food companies have followed suit to become crate-free. However, Sodexo still supports this egregious cruelty.
Recently, Sodexo did the right thing by committing to source pork from mother pigs that spend less time in crates by 2025, but the company has not yet defined a clear path to eliminate crates from its purchasing entirely.
Caring consumers spoke up for the animals—and Sodexo listened! Sodexo has now released detailed plans for following through on its animal welfare policies. Sodexo still has work to do, but it’s a major step in the right direction. Thank you for supporting this campaign!