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Albertsons Cos. said it will work with its suppliers toward a goal of sourcing only cage-free eggs for its stores by 2025, depending on available supply. The Boise, Idaho-based company is among the first and largest conventional grocers to make such a commitment, citing animal welfare and customer concerns.
Last month, Carlisle, Pa.-based Ahold USA committed to carrying only cage-free private label eggs by 2022, and Westborough, Mass.-based BJ's Wholesale Club said it would transition its entire supply of whole-shell eggs from cage-free farms by that year as well. On the supplier side, Kraft Heinz and The Schwan Food Co. are the latest companies to make such pledges; Kraft Heinz aims to source 100 percent cage-free eggs in North America by 2025, while Schwan is on track to complete the changeover by 2020.
“We take our commitment to providing responsibly sourced products seriously, and that responsibility extends naturally into ensuring our suppliers uphold humane animal welfare practices,” noted Albertsons Chief Marketing and Merchandising Officer Shane Sampson. “The transition to cage-free eggs will help us continue to provide a great, humane product to our customers while ensuring that our suppliers have ample time to prepare their operations to meet increased demand from retailers.”
Albertsons sources product for more than 2,200 stores from vendors with track records of humane treatment toward animals in the food production system. The company has worked over several years to expand its egg varieties, including organic, free-range and cage-free options.
The company operates stores in 35 states and the District of Columbia under 18 banners, among them Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market and Carrs.