Wal-Mart plans for cage-free U.S. egg supply by 2025

(Dave Bedard photo)

Reuters — Wal-Mart Stores said it was aiming to switch to a cage-free egg supply chain in the U.S. by 2025, joining a host of companies that have committed to stop using eggs laid by caged hens.

The biggest food retailer in the U.S. said Tuesday it would mandate its egg suppliers to be certified and compliant with United Egg Producers’ animal husbandry guidelines or an equivalent standard.

The decision comes at a time when the food industry is under pressure from groups including the Humane Society of the United States, Mercy for Animals and World Animal Protection, which have successfully lobbied many companies to adopt animal welfare practices.

The company said its nine-year transition period will be based on “available supply, affordability and customer demand.”

Wal-Mart also reiterated it will “continue to collaborate with suppliers, government agencies, academics, NGOs, animal health companies and veterinary experts to assess and improve how food sold to its U.S. customers is grown and raised.”

Reporting for Reuters by Ramkumar Iyer in Bangalore. Includes files from AGCanada.com Network staff.

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