Regrettably, Compassion has withdrawn Morrisons’ prestigious Good Egg Commendation after the supermarket decided to re-introduce eggs from caged hens across its own-brand M-Savers range.
We presented Morrisons with a Good Egg Commendation in 2008 when they committed to selling only free-range eggs under their own brand labels.
Compassion’s Director of Food Business, Steve McIvor said: “We are shocked that Morrisons is taking this backward step. It is a negative decision, not only for laying hens, but also for consumers and for Morrisons’ reputation.”
“When we give a company a Good Egg Award it’s because they’ve made a ‘life-time’ commitment to go cage-free. We are still urging Morrisons to reconsider this retrograde step for animal welfare.”
At a time when other brands across Europe, including Sainsbury’s, McDonald’s, The Co-operative Food, Subway, Wetherspoons, Ocado and IKEA, are taking positive steps to improve welfare, Morrisons’ decision is particularly surprising and goes against the general retail trend.
Despite the ban on barren battery cages, which came into force across the EU on 1stJanuary 2012, “enriched” cages are still permitted. These cages are a marginal improvement but still do not offer the welfare benefits of non-caged systems.
While Morrisons continued to sell caged eggs from other brands, their commitment to sourcing only free-range eggs across their own-brand was significant, which is why they received a Good Egg Commendation instead of a Good Egg Award, reserved for those organisations that go totally cage-free.
Compassion will continue to work with the food industry to address the confinement of laying hens and will award those companies that commit to using cage-free systems through our Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards programme.