American Dairy Queen Corporation (ADQ) announced a new egg-sourcing policy requiring its suppliers in the United States and Canada for shell eggs, liquid eggs and ADQ proprietary products to purchase eggs only from approved cage-free egg suppliers. The company pledged to have transition completed on or about the end of 2025.

The process of producing eggs in cage-free environments—where hens are not confined to cages and have more freedom of movement—is considered by some a better method of producing eggs than the conventional process that represents the majority of North American egg production today.

Troy Bader, ADQ’s chief operating officer for the U.S. and Canada, calls the announcement an important step for the company. “Having a sustainable supply chain is important to our fans and our company,” Bader says. “This is an important step for us. Thanks to our franchisees, supply-chain partners and dedicated employees, we are able to take this important step.”

The development of the policy has been months in the making and not only includes shell and liquid eggs for the locations that offer breakfast, but eggs that are used as ingredients in a variety of proprietary DQ® food and treat offerings.

“Once we decided to go cage free, we believed it was important to have a bigger program,” says William A. Barrier Ph.D., ADQ executive vice president of Product Development/Quality, Research & Development. “Sourcing cage-free eggs for the breakfast program alone seemed to leave the job somewhat unfinished.”

While the target for completing the sourcing policy is on or about the end of 2025, effective in 2017, only companies with cage-free offerings will be considered as a potential, new supplier for proprietary products in the DQ system.