Barely two weeks ago, critics argued that Taco Bell parent company Yum! Brands was pretty much the only major fast-food player still dragging its feet on the issue of sourcing better, more humane ingredients. That timing was prescient, it seems: In an announcement sent out this morning, Taco Bell says that will finally change at its 6,000 U.S. locations. By December 31, 2016, every egg the chain uses will be cage-free. The Humane Society is already praising the news, saying it means that half a million hens a year will get roomier digs.
While Taco Bell is relatively late to the cage-free party, reps for the chain say they’ve found a way to make the change a lot faster than everybody else. Taco Bell’s one-year turnaround will beat Panera and Starbucks by three years and McDonald’s by, incredibly, the better part of a decade. Taco Bell’s pledge and the relative speed with which it’ll carry it out are certainly worth applauding, but it’s still a shame that these commitments are still at least a year away — especially since Chipotle doesn’t (yet) offer its version of biscuit tacos.