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Egg farmers weigh in on cage-free movement

A&W and Chick-fil-A newest to announce transition to cage-free eggs

By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content
Farms.com

To meet up with consumer demands and concerns, various fast food chains and grocery stores are announcing movements to source only cage-free eggs for their customers.

The decision to source cage-free eggs will also directly impact the egg farmers themselves as it isn’t a change that can happen overnight.

Eggs

“Without question, transitioning between farm production methods take time,” said Chad Gregory, President and CEO, United Egg Producers (UEP). UEP is based in the United States and represents nearly 95 per cent of all American egg production.

“The egg farming community will do what is needed to meet the expectations of their customers, while maintaining the highest standards for egg safety, food affordability, environmental responsibility and excellent care of our hens.”

Roger Pelissero, an egg farmer from Gray Ridge Egg Farms in Ontario’s Niagara Region who also sits on the board of directors for Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC), said farmers in the province are well-equipped to adapt to the changes while keeping in mind who the largest buyer of eggs are.

In February, EFC announced an industry-wide initiative to try to end egg production in conventional housing.

“We have more than enough production in place to meet the demands of these companies,” he said. “At the same time we recognize our largest customers of eggs in Canada are the consumers in their homes.”

With all the conversation surrounding cage-free eggs, Pelissero pointed out an important detail for consumers to realize.

“There is no nutritional difference whatsoever in eggs produced in conventional, enriched or cage-free housing,” he said. “There’s the same amounts of protein and nutrients.”

Companies that have announced a transition to cage-free eggs include Tim Horton’s, Burger King, McDonald’s and Starbucks.


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