A week after protests took place across Scotland, Farmfoods supermarket franchise has announced that they will be introducing a new policy to source 100 per cent cage-free eggs by 2025.
On Saturday, 5 November, activists gathered outside the supermarket Farmfoods in Edinburgh, as well as franchises of the grocery store across Scotland, to protest their policy on selling cage-eggs. The largest gatherings took place in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen.
In addition to the protests on 5 November, there were many volunteers who used social media, direct emailing and phone-ins to demand a change in Farmfoods’ sourcing of eggs in order to better inform the public on the issues at hand, and to persuade people to join their campaigns.
On Friday, 11 November, Farmfoods spokespeople announced that the company plans to introduce cage-free eggs, and also to completely eliminate the selling of caged-eggs within the next eight years. They have also announced their plans to broaden the stores’ egg range, to take immediate effect in the coming weeks.
The Humane League, the organisation which led the protests against Farmfoods last weekend, are thrilled by the announcement that Farmfoods has changed their policies.
Farmfoods will be joining stores such as Aldi, Asda, Iceland, Lidl, Morrisons, and Tesco in their commitment to stop selling caged eggs and to enact a policy which aims to phase out their production in the coming years.
Pru Elliot, the UK Corporate Campaigns Coordinator for the Humane League, said in a press release: “The Humane League and our volunteers are proud to have led our strategic campaign against Farmfoods, which has ultimately resulted in today’s announcement. We applaud the supermarket for joining its competitors in sourcing exclusively cage-free eggs.”
He continued: “Farmfoods’ new policy is an important step in reducing the suffering of farm animals. We believe that in the near future every major European company will make the same commitment to phase out cages.”
One of the motivations for the protests, according to Humane League spokespeople, was that Farmfoods was the only retailer in Scotland which still sold caged-eggs, without a policy to phase-out caged-eggs in favour of cage-free eggs in the coming years.
The Edinburgh University Student Voice for Animal Rights joined the Humane League in organising and participating in the Edinburgh protests. On the day of the action, activists and volunteers stood outside Farmfoods urging the public to acknowledge the cruelty that was prevalent in the caged-egg industry. Many customers turned away from Farmfoods and many announced their support for the removal of caged eggs, after speaking to protesters.
According to Humane League spokespeople, this change in policy has not only meant that activists have successfully helped another retailer in recognising the cruelty that comes from selling caged eggs, but the policy change is also believed to bring the Scottish food production sector a step closer to removing the process of caged hens altogether.
The Humane League hope to continue to take actions to push for safer, natural, and more humane ways of farming and treating livestock and poultry.
Image: Gina Pina