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SOLVANG, Calif. -- Five-store natural food independent grocer New Frontiers Natural Marketplace here said it won't sell eggs from caged hens anywhere in its stores.
"[We] feel great about having moved to exclusively cage-free eggs for our shelves, delis, and bakeries," said Ron Colone, marketing director for New Frontiers Natural Marketplace, in a statement.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) praised the grocer for its new policy. "By removing eggs from caged birds from its stores and bakeries, the chain is helping to encourage the egg industry to end its confinement of laying hens in battery cages," said Paul Shapiro, senior director of the Factory Farming Campaign for HSUS.
The retailer adopted the policy within "the past couple of months," HSUS spokeswoman Erin Williams told Progressive Grocer, adding, "We don't have any other retailers that we're planning to announce in the immediate future, although we recently announced a campaign targeting Wendy's."
According to the organization, cage-free hens generally have 250 percent to 300 percent more space per bird and are able to engage in more of their natural behaviors than are caged hens.
So far such retailers as Whole Foods Market, Wild Oats Natural Marketplace Andronico's, New Leaf Community Markets, and Jimbo's Naturally, have also discontinued the sale of cage eggs.
New Frontiers Natural Marketplace has locations in Solvang and San Luis Obispo, Calif., and Prescott, Flagstaff, and Sedona, Ariz.