Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Some Good News

Safeway has exceeded its cage-free egg goal, reports Triple Pundit. It's not perfect--the goal was to increase from 6 to 12 percent of its eggs coming from cage-free, Humane Farm Animal Care-certified farms, and they've managed to achieve 15 percent. But it's still a big and positive step forward to having humanly-sourced eggs available at one of North America's biggest food retailers.
Free-ranging rooster.   credit:wikipedia
This is a big company--2011 sales of $43.6B--that's making a change driven by consumer demand. And that's a powerful thing. But if it hurt their sales, they would spin on a dime and go back to the old ways in a New York second. So consumer support will be required over the long term.
The standards the farm meets are pretty good, too:
The Certified Humane label is described by HFAC as a “certification and labeling program that is the only animal welfare label requiring the humane treatment of farm animals from birth through slaughter.” In order to qualify for the Certified Humane label, an egg farm has to meet certain standards:
  • Cages are not allowed, and housing facilities must include areas for hens to nest, dust bath, scratch and perch
  • The animals must have enough space, shelter and gentle handling to limit stress
  • The animals must have access to ample fresh water and a healthy diet of quality feed with no animal by-products
Also important is Safeway's commitment to  a gestation crate free pork supply chain, as well. So kudos to a major retailer and it's response to consumer demand to do the right thing.

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