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Free-range eggs get cracking

More food companies are committing to better welfare of hens

Animal welfare is a percolating topic in the food business. Perhaps the best example of the issue taking hold is in the chicken coop. Or rather, outside the chicken coop.

A growing number of companies are committing to cage-free eggs: Wendy’s and Subway in fast food, and Hyatt Hotels and Virgin American in hospitality, are a few examples.

On the grocery front, Loblaw and Unilever’s Hellmann’s brand are increasing cage-free egg use.

Free-run eggs are growing in popularity, Loblaw’s spokesperson Kevin Groh, tells the Globe and Mail. “We are expanding our lines, as we know the issue of animal welfare is an important one with Canadians.”

Still, it’s hard to know exactly how much Canadians really care about whether the hens that produced their eggs were locked up in a cage or free to roam the farm.

A survey by Egg Farmers of Canada showed consumers care more about price and food safety than animal welfare.

“The average consumer doesn’t want to pay even a few extra cents for free-range eggs,” Alison Evans of Egg Farmers says.

Read the full story here.

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