Morrisons stripped of Good Egg award over cage back down

SUPERMARKET giant Morrisons has been stripped of its prestigious Good Egg Commendation award following its decision to re-introduce eggs from caged hens across its own brand range.

Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) announced it was taking away the away the award to encourage the retailer to ‘get back on the right track’.

But Morrisons hit back at the move, saying the eggs from caged hens had always been available in store – even when the award was handed out four years ago - but they were sold under a different brand name.

The spokesman added that just under 50 per cent of all the eggs sold across the chain were from caged hens, representing a need for cheaper eggs as families struggled with rising food prices.

“The only change we are making is to sell caged eggs under the entry price point M Savers brand rather than under a different brand name,” he said.

“This allows us to take greater control of the egg supply chain. It also puts us in the best position to respond to customers on a budget while improving control of animal welfare.”

He said the supermarket remained a ‘strong supporter’ of free range eggs and had developed the Nature’s Nest enrichment project, to promote good welfare conditions in the market.

But CIWF said the action by Morrisons represented a ‘retrograde step for animal welfare’. 

CIWF’s director of food business, Steve McIvor, said: “Consumers do not like caged egg production and Compassion in World Farming shares this view. We awarded Morrisons a Good Egg Commendation in good faith and would encourage Morrisons to reverse this decision and get back on the right track.”

The charity presented Morrisons with the title in 2008 for its policy commitment to sourcing only free-range eggs across its entire own branded egg offer.

Mr McIvor added: “At a time when other brands across Europe, including Sainsbury’s, McDonald’s, The Co-operative Food, Subway, Weatherspoons, Ocado and IKEA, are taking positive steps to improve welfare, this is a really surprising and unfortunate decision by Morrisons and goes against the general retail trend.”

Readers' comments (8)

  • Caged eggs = battery eggs = value eggs - just branded differently. Consumers don't care. The "Good Egg" award is just as useless as recieving gold a star for your school homework.

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  • Consumers do care but they are not that stupid as to believe the outrageous claims about animal welfare by so called welfare groups.

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  • Pieter Bloem and Anonymous try to keep an open mind and investigate Compassion in World Farming ciwf.co.uk before you disparage something you obviously know nothing about.

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  • So Morrison's condones this cruel practice because it provides cheaper eggs? How retrograde is that? And guess which supermarket I won't be shopping in now?

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  • I for one want to see caged/barn hens abolished!! I have rescued 12 ex-batt girls in march! We lost 2, but the ten we still have are 'Happy, healthy and loved! we are rewarded with beautiful tasty, fresh, freerange and slightly dirty eggs they are far superior to any supermarket eggs! and we sell any we have cheaper than the supermarkets, in the same sized 'so called freerange eggs'!!

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  • Its about time ignorant people associated eggs from caged birds with the misery and suffering that these poor birds go through to give them cheaper eggs. If they saw it would they still be ignorant enough to still buy them?!!....What people dont see doesnt bother them. Well open your eyes and watch the suffering for yourself. Would you treat your animals that way? Well these birds are living creatures that feel pain and fear too!!

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  • Clearly there is some confusion in these comments about the nature of European caged systems. Battery cages are now ILLEGAL and Morrisons will only be stocking eggs from enriched colony cages. Granted they are still cages but the birds are in larger groups, have more space, have perches, nest boxes and mats, scratch mats and areas to dust bath and claw shorteners. They are also kept away from disease and parasites that build up in the soil and come in from wild birds on free range egg units, so it could be argued these "caged eggs" are actually produced in higher welfare systems where all their behavioural needs are accommodated and the disease burden is much lower. They also don't take up much needed arable land and as they are healthier and have a much more controlled enviroment they eat less food but produce more eggs. So I don't think anybody needs to lose any sleep about saving a bit of money by buying EU caged eggs, but would definitely stick to lion code as this ensures that the birds have been vaccinnated for salmonella and the eggs have come from salmonella free flocks.

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  • what morrisons dont tell you is that the caged chickens after 13 to 14 months are sent to food proccessing plants for pies and pet food at least free range have a chance to live another 5 years or more i have just recently rescued 7 from a place which supplies morrisons with eggs and they told me they have on average aprox 1600 birds and after 13/14 months is no new home is found for these they are condemmed to the pet food pie factorys

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