UK - Another UK supermarket chain, Iceland, has announced plans to end the sale of eggs from caged hens in its UK stores by 2025.
The move comes after Morrisons announced a similar commitment with a 2025 deadline yesterday.
These announcements come close on the heels of pledges from Tesco, Aldi and international food service company, Sodexo.
The company said customer feedback was the reasoning behind the transition and extensive consultations with the company’s egg suppliers have confirmed the feasibility of moving entirely to alternative barn and free range egg production methods within this timescale.
Iceland Joint Managing Director Nigel Broadhurst said: "Today it is clear that our customers would prefer to buy eggs from non-caged hens, so long as we can deliver these without compromising the outstanding value they expect from us. Having consulted with our egg suppliers, I am confident that we can achieve this by 2025 – and if it proves feasible to complete the changeover sooner than that, we certainly will.”
Animal welfare group Compassion in World Farming expressed delight at the news.
Dr Tracey Jones, the organisation's Director of Food Business, said: “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.”
Sainsbury’s, The Co-operative, Waitrose and M&S already have cage-free eggs. Compassion in World Farming urged Asda supermarkets to make the transition too.ThePoultrySite News Desk