Supermarkets keeping pheasants and partridges in 'cruel and environmentally damaging' cages

Morrisons becomes ‘first major supermarket’ to go free range, ending sale of caged eggs

‘Improving animal welfare is very important to customers and it’s very important to us,’ says Morrisons spokesperson

Sabrina Barr@fabsab5
Wednesday 19 February 2020 13:21
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Morrisons has reportedly become the first major supermarket to solely supply free-range eggs, ending the sale of caged eggs.

Luxury retailer Waitrose already sells only free-range but of the other "big six" supermarkets, which include Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, Aldi and Lidl, Morrisons is the only one not to have "barn eggs" for sale.

The supermarket previously committed to moving away from selling caged eggs by 2025 following the launch of a 2016 campaign by then-14-year-old Lucy Gavaghan.

After doubling the number of free-range farmers that supply its egg packing business, the firm has managed to achieve its aim five years earlier than orginally planned.

Morrisons' latest commitment means that all eggs sold at the supermarket will come from hens who spend at least eight hours outdoors on a daily basis.

The hens will also have nest boxes with wide perches and enough room for scratching and dust bathing.

Robert Hofmann, egg buyer at Morrisons, stated that “improving animal welfare” is of the utmost importance for the company.

“Improving animal welfare is very important to customers and it’s very important to us,” Mr Hofmann said.

“We source our eggs directly from farms and have worked hard to help them all move to free range.”

Dr Tracey Jones, director of Food Business at Compassion in World Farming, praised the move by Morrisons.

“It’s great to see Morrisons achieving their commitment to be 100 per cent free range on shell eggs ahead of their target,” Dr Jones said.

Morrisons free range eggs

“Momentum on ending the use of cages for laying hens is growing and Morrisons are leading the way. Importantly, they also have a 2025 cage-free commitment on the eggs that go into processed and ingredient foods.”

In addition to pledging to only sell eggs that are free range and uncaged, Morrisons has also outlined its objective that by 2025, all eggs used as ingredients in food products sold at the supermarket will be free range.

Furthermore, the price of six free range eggs has been reduced from 80p to 75p.

In December, Morrisons became subject to mockery when it renamed Brussels sprouts after the areas of the UK in which they were grown in the lead up to Christmas.

Several social media users ridiculed the supermarket’s decision to dub the festive vegetable “Yorkshire sprouts”, “Lincolnshire sprouts” and “Scottish sprouts”.

This article has been amended to clarify that Morrisons is the first of the six biggest supermarkets to go free range, rather than the first to stop selling caged eggs.

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