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Calgary Co-op aims to sell ethically sourced meat


Calgary Co-op could soon become the first major Canadian grocer beside Whole Foods to sell only “ethical” meat and egg products.

The Alberta chain’s members voted last week to phase out eggs and pork from caged animals over a period of five-years, replacing them entirely with products from free range and cage-free systems.

The motion still has to be approved by the grocer’s board of directors.

Clint Robertson, the member who put forward the motion, described for CBC’s As It Happens the inspiration behind it:

“The immediate reason (for the motion) is to push the industry. This is more than just about Calgary Co-op, but Calgary Co-op is a very big presence here in the city and the region. And if Calgary Co-op moves in this direction, it will push the industry. I really feel this will have a domino effect in Alberta and western Canada, and maybe more broadly.”

The move comes a few months after Mercy for Animals Canada published undercover videos from a Manitoba hog farm.

The organization collected about 40,000 signatures on a petition asking Canada’s major grocers to prohibit the use of gestation crates in their supply chains.

In and interview with Canadian Grocer, MFAC’s director of operations Stephane Perrais said the reason the group targeted retailers was because they have the most power to effect change. If Metro, for example, requires higher animal welfare standards from their suppliers, they will “heed that call.”

Lobster ban in Germany

Across the pond in Germany, all of the country’s major grocery chains have stopped selling lobster, following an aggressive campaign by an animal rights group.

Mahi Klosterhalfen, VP of the Albert Schweitzer Foundation, says the organization was concerned with how lobsters’ claws are bound, and how they are fed and cooked, reports CBC News.

"As we all know, they are usually boiled alive which seems to us one of the most gruesome deaths you can imagine," he told CBC, adding the campaign kicked off last year.

The lobster ban should not have a huge impact on the Canadian lobster fishing industry, Klosterhalfen said, because Germany imports very little lobster.

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