Convenience retailer Spar UK has joined the major retailers in pledging to stop selling eggs from caged hens.
The company said it would join Tesco, Morrisons, Asda, Aldi and Iceland to phase out the sale of caged “enriched colony” eggs by 2025.
Debbie Robinson, Spar UK managing director, said: “We have reviewed our egg suppliers, including all our regional producers, and in line with the grocery market, Spar is committed to switch to cage-free eggs by 2025.”
Other retailers such as Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencer and the Co-op already sell eggs from free-range or barn systems.
Animal welfare campaigners welcomed the pledges by supermarkets to go cage-free.
The British Hen Welfare Trust said a “sea change” had taken place: “For months the industry has been talking about further moves away from caged egg production, and now it seems viable that in 10-15 years the vast majority of hens in the UK will be free-range, with a small percentage being kept in a barn environment.
“Current developments represent a massive collective achievement by consumers, campaigners and individuals, all of whom have the welfare of the laying hen at heart.”
Philip Lymbery, chief executive at Compassion in World Farming, added it was clear the food industry, both in the US and the UK, was evolving and finally starting to see animal welfare at its heart.
“I am delighted to say that a cage-free day is dawning,” he said.