Countdown hasn’t cracked it yet

Countdown has announced that it will phase out selling cage eggs under its own private egg label by 2022. This will improve the lives of around 70,000 hens, but falls short of heeding calls from caring Kiwis for Countdown to go fully cage-free.

Countdown has been encouraged by SAFE and New Zealanders over the last year to stop selling eggs produced in cruel cages. Countdown is owned by Australian corporation Woolworths who has already made a cage-free commitment there by 2025, for all eggs sold in-store, after pressure from their customers.

A Horizon research poll conducted in February shows that three-quarters (76 percent) of Countdown’s customers would be supportive if Countdown were to phase out cage eggs.

“It is good to see that Countdown is starting to listen to consumers, says SAFE’s Hans Kriek. “This new development is to be applauded. It does not, however, help the many hundreds of thousands of hens who are still suffering in cages, laying eggs that will be sold for profit by Countdown. We now expect Countdown to take the next step and listen to their Kiwi customers who have said they support them going cage-free, as they have done so over the Tasman.”

In New Zealand, a number of companies have already committed to going cage-free, including McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s. Internationally many large supermarket chains are going cage-free, including most recently General Mills, one of the world’s largest food manufacturers.

Countdown needs to listen to caring people and announce a public policy on a date to phase out all cage eggs. 


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1 March 2017