Consumers are pleading with Countdown to stop stocking caged eggs, as part of a social media campaign sparked by animal rights group Safe.
“Countdown sells millions of eggs from caged hens, “ the group wrote on its own FB page. “They are owned by Woolworths Australia who committed to stop selling cage eggs in Australia by 2018. We asked Countdown to make the same commitment, but they told us Kiwis weren't motivated enough to demand change.”
As a result, Countdown’s Facebook page was bombarded with pleas from concerned consumers. The supermarket chain then responded with a lengthy post, sharing some information.
“Over the last few years our customers have been increasingly moving to Free Range over Caged Eggs and currently around 40% of our egg sales are from non-caged eggs (Free range, Barn & Organic). Almost 30% of those sales are from Free Range eggs," the company wrote in a statement. "At present there is not enough supply in New Zealand for Countdown to go entirely Free Range and still meet customer demand. This is an issue that affects the whole supermarket industry. However, we are working with suppliers to improve the quantity of Free Range eggs available over time.
"As supply of free range comes onto the market, we are increasing the proportion of Free Range eggs in our stores. Approximately 60 of our stores already have dedicated more space to Free Range eggs rather than caged eggs.
All Countdown suppliers are audited against our strict quality standards, which is overseen by AsureQuality and ensures that eggs that are labeled as being free range are indeed free range. We understand there is a steadily growing consumer interest in animal welfare and are committed to satisfying the changing needs of our customers.”