Cage Eggs Disappear from Supermarket Shelves
Mission accomplished! Practically all German food retailers have confirmed with us that they will discontinue selling cage eggs, including colony cage eggs, in the future. Since late 2008, super market chains have contacted us almost weekly concerning their goodwill to contribute to an important issue in animal protection and thus to eliminate cage eggs from their product line. Representing a major alliance of animal protection organizations, we have led discussions with most of the food retailers and were impressed with how openly they met our requests.
In 2006, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) overruled the ban on cages that had been decided on by the Green Party/Social Democratic Party (SPD). Now, it shows that it was a mistake, economically and politically. When battery cage systems were reintroduced, it was not considered that market trends were already headed in a different direction. Following intense discussions with a number of animal protection organizations, including ourselves, in 2003, supermarket chain ALDI Nord had already decided to stop selling cage eggs and another chain, Lidl, followed suit in all regions where ALDI Nord was present. The percentage of cage eggs in other supermarket chains also declined gradually since consumers were steadily becoming aware of the cruelty of cage eggs. Further food retail chains such as Norma and Plus also decided to discontinue selling cage eggs.The reintroduction of cage eggs despite these clear signals was likely the result of purposefully misinformed politicians.
Now the new cages are practically superfluous and thus, several million euros have been wasted in switching from battery cages to colony cages. Politicians, producers, food retailers, and animal protectionists should have joined forces; that way German eggs could have been positioned on the market as a premium product. It is unfortunate that switching over production to cage-free eggs now only takes place with the partial support of the first two groups. We certainly hope that in the future, it will be easier to bring together all involved parties.
The following list shows which food retailers have decided to eliminate cage eggs from their product line. Due to low supply of eggs from alternative systems, phasing out may take until Easter 2010.
- Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd
- Kaiser’s Tengelmann
- Karstadt Feinkost
- Netto Marken-Discount
- Netto Supermarkt
- Penny Markt
- Plus (is currently acquired by Netto and Penny Markt)
You can find a list of cage-free wholesale cash and carry businesses here.
Should you happen to find individual German markets from the positive list still selling cage eggs, please write us an email as soon as possible.