Compassion in World Farming is delighted at the news that supermarket retailers Iceland and Morrisons have this week pledged to go cage-free on all their whole shell eggs by 2025, demonstrating that the cage-free movement in the UK is seriously gathering pace.
These announcements come close on the heels of pledges from Tesco, Aldi and international food service company, Sodexo to go cage-free, and follow a spectacular domino effect of similar announcements by leading supermarkets and other food companies in the US.
In April, Walmart, the largest grocer in the US, announced their commitment to switch to 100 per cent cage-free eggs by 2025. However, disappointingly, despite being owned by Walmart, ASDA, the third largest supermarket in Britain, has yet to commit to phasing out cages for hens.
Dr Tracey Jones, Director of Food Business at Compassion in World Farming, says: “Just two weeks ago I congratulated Tesco on their decision to go cage-free and expressed the hope that it would be the catalyst for others to follow. With Morrisons, Iceland, Aldi and Sodexo all pledging to go cage-free this week it would seem that the cage-free movement in the UK has developed serious traction and continues to gain momentum.
“Of course, whilst the timelines are longer than we would like we at Compassion very much welcome these pledges. We have worked to influence and educate food companies on animal welfare for decades, and we will continue to work with these retailers to ensure the production system changes required to go cage-free will offer the hens a good quality of life in rich and stimulating environments.”
Nearly 20m laying hens in the UK are kept in cages, denying them some of the most basic behaviours and depriving them a life worth living. However, with Tesco, Iceland, Morrisons, Aldi and Sodexo now joining Sainsbury’s, The Co-operative, Waitrose and M&S, (companies who have long banished caged eggs from their shelves and who have been recognised by Compassion’s Good Egg Award for their leadership), there is more hope for these hens than ever before.