A major Australian supermarket giant has vowed to commit to a promise made a decade ago which will see a common breakfast item vanish from shelves nationwide.
In 2013, Woolworths announced it would phase out the sale of caged eggs across its stores by 2018, in line with a new partnership with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.
The collaboration also targeted the sale of chicken, with only RSPCA standard or an equivalent approved brand of the white meat permitted to be stocked on shelves.
Woolies hoped the changes would promote sustainability and adapt to the current shopping trends at the time, with the move welcomed by animal activist communities.
However, by the time 2018 rolled around, not all changes came into effect with the supermarket backflipping on its decision to stop stocking some brands of caged eggs.
Rather, the only caged eggs taken off shelves were the supermarket’s homebrand eggs, with Woolworths-branded egg cartons being “100 per cent” cage-free from 2015.
Five years on, Woolworths appears to have subtly recommitted to its caged egg promise with a spokesperson telling news.com.au the supermarket is working with suppliers to phase-out such eggs in the next two years.
“We announced our plans to transition our entire egg range to cage-free back in 2013, and we’re working closely with our suppliers to gradually phase-out caged eggs from all the brands we sell by 2025,” they said.
A specific timeline to achieve 100 per cent free-range egg sales has not been determined, with only caged-eggs being phased out opposed to barn-laid eggs.
“The transition to cage-free is on track, with around half of our stores already offering a completely cage-free egg range,” the spokesperson said.
In some cases, a handful of stores are ahead of schedule while others have had to delay the phase-out due to supplier requests.
The spokesperson added: “We understand a change like this takes time, and that’s why we’ve consulted with our suppliers to ensure they have sufficient time to make changes to their production methods”.
Woolworths doesn’t suspect the change will contribute to any shortage in egg supplies, with the supermarket noting the availability of free-range eggs has increased over time.
Currently, Woolworth’s branded cage-free barn-laid eggs sell for $4.60 a dozen, which is 10 cents more than their caged counterparts.
Last modified: June 21, 2023