LOS ANGELES, March 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today SUPERVALU, one of the nation's largest grocers, announced its commitment to improving animal welfare by pledging that 100 percent of eggs sold in its stores will be cage-free by 2025 or sooner. The policy affects all SUPERVALU retail banners, including Cub Foods, Save-A-Lot, Shop 'n Save, Farm Fresh Food & Pharmacy, and Rainbow Foods. The move, which will spare more than 1.5 million hens annually from suffering in tiny wire cages, has been applauded by the international animal protection organization Mercy For Animals, which collaborated with SUPERVALU to develop this important policy.
SUPERVALU's statement is the latest in a wave of cage-free egg commitments by grocers including Kroger, Albertsons, Safeway, Food Lion, Giant, Stop & Shop, Costco, Target, CVS, Sprouts, Trader Joe's, and BJ's Wholesale Club. Additionally, nearly 100 other retailers, restaurants, foodservice companies, and food manufacturers have pledged to go cage-free in the last year.
Caged egg production is inherently cruel and widely considered one of the most egregious forms of animal abuse. Hens are stuffed into wire cages so small the birds can't walk, fully spread their wings, or engage in other natural behaviors for nearly their entire lives. Many birds become trapped and painfully mangled in cage wire or under feed trays and often suffer and die. Dead hens are left to rot alongside birds still laying eggs for human consumption.
Battery cages are so patently cruel they have been banned by California, Michigan, and the entire European Union. There is also an effort underway in Massachusetts to ban both the production and sale of eggs from hens confined in these cruel cages.
SUPERVALU's cage-free egg commitment is one of the first initiatives by the company to establish a comprehensive animal welfare policy encompassing guidelines for its egg, pork, dairy, and chicken supply chains. SUPERVALU transitioned its Wild Harvest brand of eggs to 100% cage-free last fall and has already pledged to work with suppliers to eliminate gestation crates that severely confine sows.
The following statement can be attributed to Nathan Runkle, president of MFA:
"SUPERVALU has taken a significant step forward in improving the lives of farmed animals. The company's cage-free egg commitment will reduce the suffering of countless hens and inspire other grocers to implement similar meaningful animal welfare policies.
"It's high time other grocers, including H-E-B and Publix, acknowledged that cramming animals into cages barely larger than their bodies is cruel and has no place in a civilized society. With SUPERVALU's announcement, it's never been clearer that the days are numbered for companies that sell eggs from hens packed into cages so small the birds can't walk or even fully spread their wings. Any food company that has not yet adopted a cage-free egg policy is simply out of step with consumer expectations and business trends."
To learn more about MFA and its efforts to help farmed animals, visit www.MercyForAnimals.org.
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SOURCE Mercy For Animals