Tesco has pledged to stop sourcing eggs from caged hens by 2025 as part of a renewed focus on sustainable sourcing.
Currently, around 43% of the 1.4 billion eggs sold by Tesco each year come from caged eggs, also known as enriched colonies, with the remainder produced using free range or organic methods.
Tesco will transition to 100% cage-free eggs over the next nine years, moving to alternative sourcing methods, such as barns, free range and organic.
“Our decision on caged hens is one of a number of Tesco initiatives designed to ensure sustainable sourcing, and improve animal welfare,” said Matt Simister, Tesco’s commercial director for fresh food. “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.”
Tesco pointed to recent initiatives to introduce guaranteed high value contracts for British potato growers, and sustainable farming programmes for lamb farmers and producers of cheese, as evidence of its commitment to source products in a sustainable way.
Campaign groups welcomed Tesco’s commitment on caged eggs. “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,” said Philip Lymbery, CEO of Compassion in World Farming.