The era of keeping hens in cages may be coming to an end.
Major players in Canadian retail, including Walmart, Loblaws and Sobeys, today committed to purchase cage-free eggs by the end of 2025.
The Retail Council of Canada’s grocery members have considered adopting a cage-free policy for a while.
“There have been significant discussions over the last several months among producers, processors, the scientific community and consumers regarding the best approach for raising hens,” said David Wilkes, RCC senior vice-president of government relations and grocery division, in a statement.
Wilkes suggested the commitment isn’t set in stone, as Canadian egg farmers may struggle to satisfy the cage-free pledge.
“This voluntary commitment is made recognizing the restrictions created by Canada’s supply management system and importantly this objective will have to be managed in the context of availability of supply within the domestic market.”
The RCC made the announcement while the National Farm Animal Care Council is working on recommendations for a new code of practice for layer hens. Wilkes said the grocers would continue to support the new code of practice, despite their decision to purchase cage free eggs by 2025.