Italian retail chain, Esselunga, has recently publicised its decision to sell only cage-free whole eggs across all brands sold in their stores. Their decision is welcomed by Compassion and is one that marks the beginning of a cage-free era for Italian hens.
In addition to shell eggs, Esselunga’s commitment extends to some egg ingredients used in their own-brand products too. They have stopped using caged eggs in fresh pasta, bakery products, pastries and ready meals, which are manufactured in Esselunga’s own factories. Furthermore, they also use cage-free eggs in some festivity products such as panettone, pandoro and colombe of Le Grazie brand.
Cage-free commitments, such as this latest announcement from Esselunga, are the result of years of work by Compassion and other NGOs, and highlight the impact that our engagement with food companies is having to improve animal welfare standards across the food industry.
Elisa Bianco, Compassion’s Food Business Manager in Italy, said: "There is definitely a growing interest in animal welfare among consumers, a situation which today is particularly evident in the case of caged hens. We applaud Esselunga for responding to consumers’ higher welfare demands and for their transparency, by making their cage-free policy easily accessible on their website.
"We will continue to work with food companies, and particularly with retailers, so that Esselunga’s choice can represent a turning point for the 32 million hens which are still confined in cages in Italy."