Case Study

Case Study - Delaware North

Delaware North is a global leader in the hospitality and entertainment industry. The company annually serves more than a half-billion guests across three continents, including at high-profile sports venues, airports, national and state parks, restaurants, resorts, hotels, and casinos.

Building on more than a century of enduring partnerships and a commitment to local communities and sustainability, Delaware North’s vision is to delight guests by creating the world’s best experiences today while reimagining tomorrow. In June 2023, the company achieved cage-free egg sourcing of 93% for its U.S. operations and 86% worldwide as it advances towards the 2025 goal of 100%.

Partnering with Compassion

Delaware North has been working with Compassion in World Farming since 2022, when the company recognised that there was more it might do to progress its cage-free commitment. Using EggTrack to help evaluate how the company compared to its competitors within the food service industry, Delaware North was able to assess its own welfare standards and take additional steps to realising its goal of responsible animal welfare policies.

Debbie Friedel, Director of Sustainability at Delaware North, commented: “Product availability and supply chain disruptions can present a real challenge to meeting our animal welfare commitments. Through consistent communication and feedback, we have benefited greatly from CIWF’s knowledge and expertise as we transition to 100% cage-free eggs by 2025.”


Facing the roadblocks

There have been numerous challenges in making the transition to a fully cage-free system. These include Avian Influenza, supply chain disruptions following the Covid-19 pandemic, current economic conditions affecting supply chain logistics and the overall cost of phasing out cages.

Further complication was due to the reality that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach for Delaware North in addressing each roadblock – neither by issue, nor by region. Countries operate under uniquely local conditions and Delaware North had to adjust accordingly to all the varying factors at play in each market where it operates.

Finding the solutions

Conversations with supplier partners were crucial to ensuring a successful transition from farming operations using cages. Through these conversations, Delaware North has been able to provide meaningful updates to internal and external stakeholders about how it is going to meet its commitment timelines of a cage-free system by 2025.

Delaware North director of procurement category management Danielle Whisnant notes, “We have had a highly positive experience working with supplier partners who share our cage-free egg goal. This makes it possible to access a variety of compliant cage-free products to meet our customers' needs today and into the future. It is based on a strong partnership: we communicate often to understand product needs, what is working and where we need to improve; managed order guidelines, field communication and training, and continual monitoring helps us stay on track to achieve our goal.” 

By putting animal welfare at the heart of its responsible sourcing standards and commitment, Delaware North is reporting significant cage-free progress across its global operations through its first progress update.

Continuing to move forward

Stephen Harrington, Chief Supply Chain Officer at Delaware North emphasised: “We support humane practices throughout the lifecycle of the animals in our supply chain and we constantly strive to learn from others and explore new approaches. We remain committed to setting ambitious but achievable targets and sourcing products with higher welfare outcomes. Engaging with clients and stakeholders to keep them abreast of the strong progress we are making is a key part of this process.”