Belgian retailer launches ‘solidarity eggs’ to support poultry farmers

Avian influenza has forced free-range hens indoors
calendar icon 15 February 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Since October last year, chickens that go outdoors are at risk of becoming infected with avian influenza. It is therefore necessary to house all poultry indoors to protect the health of the chickens. However, this also means that eggs from free-range chickens can no longer be sold as free-range eggs, and this is not good news for poultry farmers. In order to buck these poultry farmers up, Belgian retailer Colruyt Group is launching the ‘solidarity eggs’, according to a company press release

Avian influenza has been occurring more and more often in recent years, and chickens are also currently at risk of infection. Therefore, there is an obligation to keep chickens and birds inside, the so-called indoor housing obligation. This measure should prevent contact with wild birds, which could transmit the disease. For professional poultry farmers, however, this means that free-range hens actually become cage-free hens, as the chickens can no longer go outside. The eggs from these hens may no longer be sold as free-range eggs as soon as the hens have to stay inside for 16 weeks. Their eggs become cage-free eggs.

This is not good news for the poultry farmers breeding these hens, as their eggs will be downgraded to cage-free eggs, which will get a lower price and potentially create an oversupply of cage-free eggs in the market. Therefore, Colruyt Group wants to show these poultry farmers its support by launching the 'solidarity eggs'. These eggs are supplied by the affected poultry farmers and are therefore former free-range eggs.

Consumers pay the price of free-range eggs for the 'solidarity eggs', thus supporting the affected poultry farmers. After all, these poultry farmers have made extra investments to build a free-range system and still need to maintain it. In normal circumstances, these poultry farmers receive a compensation for this, and thanks to the 'solidarity eggs' this is maintained.

A pack of 'solidarity eggs' contains 10 medium-weight eggs and is on sale at Colruyt Lowest Prices and OKay.

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