Sainsburys To Stop Selling Battery Eggs

Sainsbury’s is to become the first of the big four supermarket chains to ban the sale of eggs from battery caged hens.
From February 5, the UK’s third largest grocer will only sell only eggs from uncaged bird (free range).
Sainsburyss had been planning to phase out the sale of eggs from caged birds in 2010 but decided to bring forward its plans to mark itself out from major rivals Tesco, Asda and Morrisons .
The retailer said more than half a million hens will be removed from battery cages each week, while 2.5 million fewer battery farmed eggs will go on sale each week in the UK.
Rowen West-Henzell, food business manager for Compassion in World Farming, said: “We are over the moon that Sainsbury’s has gone cage-free almost a year ahead of schedule. The scale of this move is breathtaking.”
“When Sainsbury’s makes a move like this it has huge impact, making animal welfare more mainstream.”
“My question to the other retailers is why aren’t they responding? They’ve got a lot of catching up to do,” he added.
The move comes three years before an EU-wide ban on battery produced eggs comes into force. Under new European legislation conventional battery cages will be banned in 2012 and poultry farmers will be allowed to build larger “enriched” cages to provide their hens with more space to roam.
Sainsbury’s decision follows similar moves by smaller supermarket chains Marks and Spencer, Waitrose and the Co-op and also comes in response to recent campaigns for greater animal welfare by celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, which have attracted nationwide support.
According to latest statistics by market research group TNS, sales of free range chickens soared throughout 2008 despite concerns that the economic downturn would cause shoppers to abandon their support for animal welfare.
But while increasing numbers of consumers are willing to pay up to 94p more for a dozen free range eggs, some 63.3 per cent of all UK eggs are still produced from the estimated 18.6 million hens currently held in cages.
Sainsbury’s also intends to stop using caged eggs as an ingredient in its own-label food and drink by 2012. It already only uses free range eggs in its ‘Kids’ and ‘Taste the Difference’ ranges.

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