Nestle has set a target to use only eggs from cage-free birds in all its food products by 2025 as it seeks to promote the welfare of animals.

The Switzerland-based global food giant’s goal will include shell eggs and egg products sourced directly as ingredients, such as whole egg powder and liquid.

It aims to make the transition in Europe and the US by 2020, and five years later in the rest of the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and Oceania. With respect to Asia, Nestle said the switch will be made as “conditions allow”. 

“Our purpose is to enhance quality of life and contribute to a healthier future,” the maker of KitKat and Maggi noodles said in a statement. “This includes ensuring decent welfare standards for animals that are reared for the ingredients used in our products.”

Nestle said that in Europe 40% of its eggs are already from cage-free suppliers but acknowledged it may be “more challenging” to make the change in other regions.

“Switching to cage-free supplies worldwide requires time and investment. We will manage this in a sustainable and cost effective way during the implementation period, ensuring consumers continue to access affordable high-quality foods throughout,” it said.