News Blog Articles Countdown hasn’t cracked it yet

Countdown hasn’t cracked it yet

March 1st, 2017

Countdown’s announcement today that it will phase out selling cage eggs under its own private egg label will improve the lives of some hens but falls short of heeding calls from their customers for them to go fully cage-free, a new poll shows.


Countdown has been encouraged by SAFE and New Zealanders over the last year to stop selling eggs produced in cruel cages. Countdown is owned by Australian corporation Woolworths who has already made a cage-free commitment there by 2025, for all eggs sold in-store, after pressure from their customers.

In New Zealand over three million hens are confined to cages that do not allow the animals to express their normal behaviour with each hen having the living space about the size of an A4 sheet of paper. These conditions cause stress and pain, and deprive hens of their most basic behavioural needs.

A Horizon research poll conducted in February shows that three-quarters (76 percent) of Countdown’s customers would be supportive if Countdown were to phase out cage eggs.

“It is good to see that Countdown is starting to listen to consumers, says SAFE Ambassador Hans Kriek. “This new development will see around 70,000 hens freed from cages and is therefore applauded. It does not, however, help the many hundreds of thousands of hens who are still suffering in cages, laying eggs that will be sold for profit by Countdown.”

“We now expect Countdown to take the next step and listen to their Kiwi customers who have said they support them going cage-free, as they have done so over the Tasman.”

In New Zealand, a number of companies have already committed to going cage-free, including McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s. “Internationally many large supermarket chains are going cage-free. Just today, major retailer General Mills, one of the world’s largest food manufacturers, announced a global cage-free policy. The time has come for Countdown to listen to their customers and follow suit and remove one of the most cruelly produced products from their shelves. They must announce a public policy on a date to phase out all cage eggs.” says Mr Kriek.


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