Sainsbury’s today pledged to phase out battery eggs by 2012.
The chain will ensure 100 per cent of the 600 million eggs it sells each year do not come from caged hens.
Instead they will come from either free range birds which roam outside or ‘barn eggs’ hatched in sheds of up to 1,000 birds given access to natural light.
Its pledge comes in response to customer concerns, the chain said.
Sainsbury’s hasn’t yet fixed a date for the final switchover. It said converting all eggs to non-battery required ‘considerable’ forward planning.
Farm of origin
The chain’s trading director Mike Coupe said: ‘Sainsbury’s is firmly committed to phasing out all its caged eggs ahead of 2012, and is currently working with its egg suppliers to achieve 100 per cent UK cage-free eggs as soon as possible.’
The retailer said all its free range eggs were labelled with a code which can be traced back to the farm of origin.
It carries out regular audits and checks to ensure free range standards are kept up.
Sainsbury’s is one of several retailers commended in Compassion in World Farming’s first ‘good egg’ awards today.
The animal welfare group has named companies which are making “significant progress” in improving the welfare standards of laying hens.
It also commends McDonald’s, Starbucks, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Pret A Manger, J D Wetherspoon, The Eden Project in Cornwall and the in-house catering of Microsoft UK and Google.
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