Industry overhaul could be completed by 2036
By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content
Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) announced an industry-wide initiative to end egg production in conventional housing.
According to EFC, currently about 90 percent of egg production is done in conventional housing. Under its new initiative, egg production would be split 50/50 between conventional housing and enriched housing in eight years and 85 percent of production done in enriched housing in 15 years.
EFC estimates if current market conditions are sustained, all production could be done in an enriched, free-run, aviary or free-range environment by 2036.
Peter Clarke, Chairman of EFC, said scientific research and consumer preferences were among the reasons for the industry-wide change, adding that it can help reduce environmental impacts and improve food affordability.
Abraham Frey, an egg farmer from the Township of Sables-Spanish River, about 70km from Sudbury, told northernlife.ca that if the chicken is healthy the eggs will reflect it.
Poultry Housing Methods
Free range – chickens are free to roam in a barn and have outdoor access in the summer
Free run – chickens are free to roam in a barn but don’t go outside
Aviary – almost identical to a free run operation, but there are perches for birds. It allows for more chickens and makes use of the vertical space
Enriched – chickens are in cages, but in smaller groups with more room to move
Conventional – multiple chickens are in cages with limited mobility and no access to any nests or perches
Earlier in the month, Tim Hortons and Burger King announced that by 2025, they will begin serving cage free eggs.
In September 2015, McDonald’s announced that by 2025, all of its 16,000 North American restaurants will be using cage-free eggs.