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Kraft Heinz joins cage-free eggs movement

One year ago, McDonald's announced it would begin using eggs only from cage-free chickens. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Kraft Heinz Co. plans to use only cage-free eggs in its North American operations by 2025.

The company, with headquarters in Chicago and Pittsburgh, said Tuesday the change is part of its efforts to improve sustainability.

“Making the move to source our eggs exclusively from cage-free hens builds on progress made by both Kraft and Heinz in previous years and reinforces our continuing pursuit of animal welfare improvements throughout our supply chain,” Senior Vice President Michael Mullen said in a news release.

Kraft Heinz mostly buys eggs in North America for use in a group of products that includes Miracle Whip, Heinz Mayo and Kraft Salad Dressings.

A variety of fast-food chains, retailers and food makers have pledged in the past year to shift to cage-free eggs, usually by 2020 or later to give egg producers time to adjust their operations.

McDonald’s, Panera and Taco Bell are among the restaurant chains promising to go cage-free. Retailers Target Corp. and Trader Joe’s and food makers General Mills and Mondelez are examples of other companies that have joined the cage-free movement.

The Humane Society of the United States has lead a campaign calling for cage-free eggs. The group’s CEO, Wayne Pacelle, says the momentum has been unstoppable since McDonald’s made its cage-free announcement in September.