Working with the Woodland Trust

woodland chicken

Working with the Woodland Trust

Free range eggs from hens that are free to roam and forage in woodlands have featured in Sainsbury’s stores since 2004, following farmer John Widdowson’s observations on how his hens preferred the shade and protection of trees.

This behaviour stems from the hen's natural "jungle fowl" instinct to shelter under trees and protect themselves from predators. Hens are more content to forage and roam, spending more time outside and ranging further making them happier, healthier hens which lay top quality eggs.

We are so proud of our farms that we encourage you to discover where your egg was laid by typing the number printed on the egg into our egg tracker.

Our Farms

We work closely with all our farmers and now have 180 farms in our Egg Development Group producing eggs across the UK.

All our free range and organic farms are:

  • planted with trees which cover at least 20% of the range area where the birds are free to roam outdoors
  • planted with a mixture of fast growing and slower native trees which are indigenous to the local area
  • have trees planted close to the house to encourage the hens outside to range
  • RSPCA Freedom Food standard approved

Our partnership with the Woodland Trust

Over the years we have developed an award winning partnership with the Woodland Trust, the UK's leading woodland conservation charity. They have provided essential support and advice on tree planting and maintenance to our farmers.

For every dozen eggs sold, we automatically donate 1p to the Woodland Trust to help fund tree planting projects throughout the UK including supplying free sapling packs to the Sainsbury's Active Kids campaign. Donations to date have been in excess of £1m and over 500,000 trees have been planted.

The donation is essential considering that since the 1930's, the UK has lost over 50% of its ancient woodland, and is one of the least wooded countries in Europe.

If you would like to know more about the work of the Woodland Trust or want to get involved in protecting our Woodland, visit the Woodland Trust's website.

Other products with a donation to the Woodland Trust

It is not just laying hens which benefit from the cover of trees on their range area. You'll also find that all of our free range chicken is produced to the same high standard with trees planed on the range area and 2p from every pack donated to the Woodalnd Trust.

At Christmas time, all of our free range turkeys are produced to the same high standards with 10p from every pack being donated to the Woodland Trust.

Our values

Our values guide us in everything we do - from key decisions to day-today activities.

Farmer with Combine Harvester

Our commitments

Follow our experts as they work to fulfill our 20 by 20 Sustainability Plan and provide their views on the big issues affecting our business.

Tea picker

20x20 Sustainability plan

Guided by our values, we've set ourselves 20 challenging sustainability targets to reach by 2020.

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