Bradford-based supermarket giant Morrisons said on Wednesdays it has become “the first major supermarket to sell only free range eggs.”
The company said: “Morrisons originally committed to move away from caged eggs by 2025 after listening to a consumer campaign spearheaded by teenager Lucy Gavaghan in 2016.
“Morrisons can move five years earlier after doubling the number of free-range farmers that supply its egg packing business.
“The commitment will mean all Morrisons eggs will come from hens that have outdoor access for at least eight hours each day, as well as nest boxes with wide perches and spaces for scratching and dust bathing.
“Morrisons is continuing to work on ensuring that 100% of eggs used as ingredients in products are from free range eggs by 2025.”
Morrisons said it is also dropping the price of a pack of six free range eggs from 80p to 75p to make them even more affordable.
Morrisons sells over 10 million eggs a week, with two million previously coming from caged hens.
Robert Hofmann, Morrisons Egg Buyer, said: “Improving animal welfare is very important to customers and it’s very important to us.
“We source our eggs directly from farms and have worked hard to help them all move to free range.
“From today, all our eggs will come from free-range hens that are able to roam freely outdoors – typically during daylight hours – and then return to nest boxes in the evening.”
Tracey Jones, Director of Food Business at Compassion in World Farming, said: “It’s great to see Morrisons achieving their commitment to be 100% free range on shell eggs ahead of their 2022 target.
“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.”