Most UK supermarkets have made a commitment to end the sale of caged hen eggs by 2025

Supermarkets made a commitment to stop selling caged hen eggs by 2025.

For Britain believes this is not enough!

The onus must be on the government to create tougher animal welfare standards, rather than the foolish dreaming that corporations will ignore higher profits and do the humane thing.

Which companies are doing what?

Asda, Lidl, Aldi, Tesco, Morrisons and Iceland have set a 2025 deadline to stop selling eggs from caged hens. This is to permit a transition period to cage-free production. Many popular restaurant chains, including Frankie & Bennie’s, Café Rouge and Pizza Express, have also made cage free commitments.

However a leading farm animal welfare charity – Compassion in World Farming has discovered the UK’s three largest discount retailers – Poundland, B&M, and Home Bargains are still sourcing eggs from caged hens.

IMG: Farm Watch
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At a time when the market is shifting in the direction of greater animal welfare standards, it’s deeply disappointing that Poundland, B&M and Home Bargains continuing to source eggs this way.

Compassion has written to the retailers on a number of occasions over the last year. But all have failed to make a cage free commitment. Sixteen million laying hens within the UK are presently kept in cages. These animals will spend virtually their whole lives confined, with barely sufficient room to unfold their wings.

Research data has found that animal welfare is a significant concern for UK shoppers.  81% of the general public believing that cages in farming is a cruel practice. Over two-thirds feeling that this methodology of farming is outdated and needs to be replaced.

“These so called ‘low-cost’ eggs might appear to be a superb deal, however they come at a high price to the tens of millions of hens confined in cages.”

“We must guarantee there isn’t any market for caged eggs anywhere in Britain. Major UK food companies have already committed to a cage-free future – it’s high time for discount retailers to do the same.”

“Caged eggs on any retailer shelf will mean tens of millions of hens will continue to live a lifetime of distress, year after year.”

For Britain leading the way in political intervention

For Britain is dedicated to ending all caged fowl farming. Not waiting on companies to implement purchase guidance which could be dropped at the next board meeting.

For Britain looked at the impact such policies would have on  the agricultural industry in drafting it’s own commitments. As well as following reports produced by the BFREPA and other industry leaders in the field. We have concluded that ending the practice wouldn’t have an adverse affect on our agricultural industry. But rather a positive in levelling the playing field for farmers. In addition to actually increasing growth in the free range and barn hen markets.

Copyright Philip Halling and licensed for reuse below Inventive Commons Licence.

Shell egg export figures from HM Revenue and Customs for August 2019 were 109,000 cases, 67 per cent up in comparison with the same interval in 2018. While egg product exports were 13,000 cases, up 7.9 per cent in comparison with August 2018.

Recent trends in free range production are in keeping with a report produced in 2017 by Jason Gittins of ADAS on behalf on the BFREPA. A report which is now reflected within the latest trends. Suggesting this would not have the negative impacts some individuals had feared.

Forecasts

Retailers reported a gradual increase of their percentage share of free range egg gross sales over cage eggs in recent years. Forecasts for the longer term are mixed. Some suggested an increase of 10% or more.

If 5% free range growth is realised before 2025 by the six retailers who have announced a non-cage purchase policy, then the aggregate capital cost is likely to be around £58 million.  With an additional 112 houses (16,000 fowl capacity) being needed.

If it was a 10% free range growth forecast, the total capital cost increases to £86 million. With an additional 169 houses needed.

For a 15% increase, the equivalent figures are £122 million and 237 houses. These costs are easily off set in current purchase intention trends and export figures. As detailed in the latest HM Revenue reports of Shell eggs.

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