Coop supermarkets to stop selling eggs from caged hens – The Post

Coop supermarkets to stop selling eggs from caged hens

Many egg farmers may be forced to adjust to new customer preferences

Danish consumers care about animal welfare and are increasingly shopping for free-range eggs (photo: iStock)
March 8th, 2016 4:18 pm| by Lucie Rychla

Coop Denmark has announced plans to stop selling eggs from caged hens at all of its stores by 2020.

The chain’s supermarkets Fakta, SuperBrugsen and Dagli’ will only sell free-range eggs to adapt to current consumer trends.

Listening to consumers
Two of Coop’s supermarkets, Irma and Kvickly, stopped selling the caged hens’ battery eggs in 1996 and 2013 respectively.

“Our decision to remove battery eggs from the shelves is utterly in line with our customers’ shopping habits and feedback,” Jens Visholm, the CEO of Coop Denmark, told DR.

According to Visholm, the Danes care more about animal welfare, and it reflects in their buying preferences.

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Battery eggs less popular
Eggs from caged hens represent 48.5 percent of the total eggs sold in Denmark, but among Coop’s customers the proportion fell to 37 percent last year.

“Figures for the first two months of 2016 suggests that our sales of battery eggs have already dropped by 20 percent compared to the previous year,” Visholm told DR.

READ MORE: Egg farmers agree to stop debeaking layer hens

Affecting farmers
The decision to ban battery eggs from Coop’s stores will impact on Danish egg farmers, who have already invested millions into their production.

Twelve years ago, Danish egg producers and supermarket chains agreed to improve the welfare of layer hens and comply with new EU regulations.

Coop believes the four-year phase-out plan will allow suppliers to adjust their production to the chain’s new needs, but Jørgen Nyberg Larse, a sector manager at Danske Æg, argues that four years is too short a notice.