Sysco Corp., Houston, Texas, announced plans to work with its suppliers toward sourcing only cage-free eggs by 2026, dependent upon available supply, affordability and customer demand.

This new commitment builds on the company's longstanding practice to demand high standards in the humane treatment of animals sourced for its Sysco brand products.

Since 2004, all Sysco brand shell egg suppliers have been certified by the United Egg Producers (UEP) Animal Husbandry Guidelines and also undergo annual animal welfare audits.

"In setting a sustainable egg policy, the company considered many issues in addition to animal welfare, including food affordability, food safety and quality, environmental impacts and the health and safety of egg producers," Sysco said in a press release. "The company believes the transition to a 100% cage-free egg supply chain by 2026 will require significant collaboration amongst industry participants, including our suppliers, to specifically address food affordability and environmental concerns."