Chicken & Egg Issue 14 - page 10

Chicken & Egg. Welfare and Food Together.
Is 2025 the beginning of a
With so many promises to go 'cage-free'
one would think it is good news for all laying
hens, but do these supermarket pledges
mean there is light – and green fields - at the
end of the tunnel for all caged hens in 2025?
Not necessarily. Almost 60% of eggs
produced in cages in the UK go into the
processed food and leisure industries,
effectively hidden from view. That equates
to potentially over 8 million hens being left
behind in cages if they are forgotten by
consumers, and the BHWT would like
consumers to open its doors for these
hens too.
There are many brands which have already
made the switch to free range including
Hellmann’s which went free range in 2008,
Marks & Spencer and Higgidy.
However there are others who do not use
free range eggs including Mr Kipling
and Ambrosia (all part of Premier
Foods), McVitie’s and others.
Mr Kipling, who still claims to make
‘exceedingly good cakes’, made a spectacular
u-turn in 2015 on his much-publicised switch
to free range fancies in 2011 – not a good egg
in our view at all. Mr Kipling remains the main
focus of BHWT’s Feather Campaign, and
other brands will be added.
It’s not just the food we buy in supermarkets
which we should consider – it’s what we
eat when dining out – a slice of chocolate
cake, egg fried rice from the local take away,
Michelin-starred cuisine – if eggs were used
in what you are eating, you are in a position
to influence the lifestyle of the hen that
helped to create what you enjoy.
Lots of food service chains have already
gone free range including McDonalds,
Little Chef, Harvester, Toby Carvery and JD
Wetherspoon. However others lag behind
including Premier Inn and Costa, which are
part of Whitbread, although they have
committed to being 'cage-free' by 2025.
new life for caged hens?
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