Carrefour Italy has become the first Italian retailer to join the cage-free movement with their recent announcement to no longer sell eggs from caged hens in all their Italian outlets, which include Market, Express, Iper, DocksMarket and GrossIper.
Their cage-free commitment covers their own-brand shell eggs, as well other branded eggs sold in all their Italian stores, and follows years of work by Compassion and other NGOs to secure cage-free policies from food companies.
Compassion welcomes this move, which will significantly improve the lives of thousands of laying hens in their supply chain.
Carrefour said: "Although permitted by law, the use of cages for laying hens is not considered by Carrefour to be a system capable of guaranteeing a good quality of life for the birds; limited space, movement restraint and wire floors do not allow the hens to move around and express their natural behaviours."
In Italy, however, some supermarkets like Carrefour have stores that are directly owned by them, but they also operate through franchisee outlets. Each franchisee has a certain degree of autonomy over the type of products they buy and sell, and it can therefore be challenging to impose the same corporate policies across a retailer’s entire network.
Compassion hopes that Carrefour’s franchisees follow the same cage-free policy that has been set by the main Group – to sell only cage-free whole eggs in store – to ensure the same quality standards are met across the entire business.
Elisa Bianco, Food Business Manager in Italy, said: "We congratulate Carrefour Italy on their important decision to move to cage-free eggs across their entire business. They join a long line of food companies that have recently made similar cage-free commitments across the globe to meet the growing consumer demand for cage-free eggs.”
Companies that move to cage-free production systems may be eligible for a Good Egg Award from Compassion – find out more here.