Sainsbury’s goes the egg-stra mile for happy hens

freedom food chicken

  • First major supermarket to move to cage-free on all fresh eggs and now  cage-free on ingredients as well
  • No1 retailer for cage-free eggs, sourcing 800 million eggs a year 

In a first for a major supermarket, eggs used as ingredients in all of Sainsbury's own-brand foods now come from cage-free hens. From the basics range to the premium Taste the Difference lines, all products containing eggs are now cage-free, a move affecting 1,600 products, three million hens and an amazing 800 million eggs.

The move to ban caged eggs throughout the retailer's entire product ranges is supported by the RSPCA, Compassion in World Farming, Freedom Food and the NFU.

Sainsbury's is now the number one retailer for barn, free range and organic eggs* (Nielsen Homescan Panel data - 52 weeks to 7 Jan 2012, *for total sales of individual eggs) and since 2009 has sold over 1.3 billion cage-free packaged whole eggs - from basics to free-range Woodland Eggs.

Director of Sainsbury's Brand Judith Batchelar, said: "We've now banned the use of eggs from caged hens from all of our own brand products - not only fresh eggs, but also as ingredients. This means that whether customers are buying cakes, sandwiches, ready meals, salad dressings or fresh pasta, they can rest assured they're not compromising their ethics when purchasing outside the egg aisle."

In 2009, Sainsbury's stopped selling eggs from caged hens - before any other major retailer and a year ahead of the original 2010 target. All of Sainsbury's own label barn, free range and organic eggs are sourced from UK farms, specially selected for their commitment to raising hens in a more natural environment. This announcement marks the supermarket's latest commitment to responsible egg sourcing and hits one of the targets set out in the 20 by 20 Sustainability Plan to source all eggs used as ingredients from suppliers that are committed to higher welfare standards.

Sainsbury's now has 80% of the barn egg market which means that even the basic eggs are from hens that live in a barn with space to move around and display natural behaviour.

Alice Clarke, senior scientist from the RSPCA's farm animals department said: "We are delighted by Sainsbury's move to sell only cage-free eggs on such a large-scale. We are continuing to campaign to put an end to cage-eggs as we work hard to improve the conditions in which all laying hens are reared in theUK. Hens are inquisitive animals and it is important they are kept in conditions which allow them to exhibit natural behaviours. We hope that Sainsbury's latest move pushes other retailers to enforce similar commitments and raise industry standards further."

Katy Read, Head of Food Business at Compassion in World Farming said: "We've previously recognised Sainsbury's for using only cage-free eggs with a Good Egg Award and this latest achievement demonstrates their strong commitment to improving farm animal welfare."

As well as cage-free barn eggs, Sainsbury's continues to work in partnership with the Woodland Trust to promote tree-planting and higher-welfare Woodland eggs, produced by chickens who are free to roam natural woodland. Of every dozen Sainsbury's Woodland Eggs sold, 1p is donated to the Woodland Trust and since this partnership started in 2004 Sainsbury's has raised £1.4m, helping plant 825,000 trees in local schools, on farms and in local communities.

Notes to editors

  • Sainsbury's was named as this year's 'Good Egg', in the British Free Range Egg Producers Award (BFREPA). The Good Egg Awards are recognised throughout the industry and acknowledge commitment to free range food and animal welfare.
  • Sainsbury's also features on the NFU's Good Egg List.
  • All Sainsbury's fresh eggs are 100 per cent British. Sainsbury's supports thousands of British farmers and producers - from crops to dairy - and has already made firm, long standing commitments to animal welfare.
  • Sainsbury's already donates 1p from every dozen Woodland eggs sold, 2p from Woodland chicken and 10p fromWoodlandturkeys to the Woodland Trust. Since 2004 this has raised over £1,4 million towards tree-planting.
  • Sainsbury's is also an industry leader in the sale of British produce, spending over £4 billion each year with its UK suppliers. As part of the 20 by 20 Sustainability Plan, all meat, poultry, eggs, game and dairy products will be sourced from suppliers who adhere to independent higher welfare standards. Visit our website for more information on these commitments: 20 by 20 Sustainability Plan
  • Sainsbury's is committed to helping customers Live Well For Less. We do this by showing customers how they can Live Well- with great quality and standards - For Less- less money than you thought, with less hassle and less impact on the environment. For further details visit Live Well For Less.

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About the article

  • Posted on: 13 February 2012
  • Type of article: Press release

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