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Metro is going cage-free

One of the largest retailers in the world commits to improve welfare of hens by only using eggs from cage-free farms.

25 February 2020, at 2:05pm

Metro Group - one of the largest retailers in the world - has committed to improve animal welfare throughout its supply chain by sourcing all its egg products from cage-free sources, including in the most challenging markets around the world. Stores in western and southern Europe will meet the deadline by 2022 with eastern Europe, including Russia and Ukraine, following suit in 2025. The transition to only using cage-free eggs will happen in Metro’s remaining markets, which includes China, by 2027, making the commitment both truly global as well as a sign of a large move towards cage-free systems.

Metro’s decision is part of an even bigger global shift in egg production which is seeing more and more businesses going cage-free and has been hailed by animal protection groups around the world including Open Cages UK, which campaigns on the subject as part of the Open Wing Alliance - a global coalition of groups working to free hens from cages. Metro has now joined the long list of other large companies which have already made commitments to source exclusively cage-free eggs such as Nestle, PepsiCo, Hilton, Unilever and Kraft-Heinz.

Across Europe, this means that hundreds of Metro stores will now transition to only selling cage-free eggs, which will impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of hens. Hens that will now be able to enjoy more space, dust bathe and stretch their wings freely.

Connor Jackson, CEO of Open Cages UK, comments “With this strong policy Metro is cementing its spot as one of the most progressive companies out there when it comes to animal welfare.” Jackson continues: “We applaud them for listening to their consumers and making a choice which will improve the lives of millions of hens around the world. We encourage all other companies which do not yet have a cage-free policy to follow Metro’s lead.”

Metro is a large global wholesale company focusing on the hospitality and trader groups with reported sales of €27.1 billion.