Tesco to stop sourcing eggs from caged hens by 2025

Caged hen

Tesco has announced that it is to stop sourcing eggs from caged hens by 2025 following a detailed review of its egg-sourcing strategy, which included consultation with suppliers, industry experts and other key stakeholders. 

The move is the latest initiative designed to ensure Tesco sources products in a sustainable way.

Working with supplier partners, Tesco will transition to 100% cage-free eggs, moving to alternative sourcing methods, such as barns, free-range and organic.

Currently 43% of the 1.4 billion eggs sold by Tesco each year come from caged eggs, also known as enriched colonies, while the rest come from free-range or organic methods.

Matt Simister, Tesco’s commercial director for fresh food, said: “Our decision on caged hens is one of a number of Tesco initiatives designed to ensure sustainable sourcing, and improve animal welfare.

“We carried out an extensive and collaborative review with our suppliers and key industry experts to help us work through how best we can move to 100% cage-free eggs. This will ensure we give our supplier partners the certainty they require, to make the significant and necessary investments needed for the new farming systems.”

Veli Molulo, manager director of Tesco’s largest supplier of eggs Noble Foods said: “We have already started investigating new methods of egg production, and the commitment from Tesco to move away from enriched colony production in a manageable timeframe gives us the confidence and ability to invest for the long term.”

During the transition from enriched colony production, Tesco and its supplier partners will continue to maintain established and stringent standards for all its egg producers. Tesco’s producers are required to meet high welfare specifications and must comply with the British Lion Code of Practice to ensure that all Tesco eggs have been sourced responsibly.

The decision was welcomed by Compassion in World Farming. Philip Lymbery, Compassion in World Farming’s CEO, said: “It is fantastic that Tesco are to go cage-free by 2025 and I would like to congratulate them for their bold commitment, and for doing the right thing for laying hens. I hope that this will be the catalyst needed for all other UK retailers to follow Tesco’s lead and phase out cages for good.”

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