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Delhaize America and The Kroger Co. are the latest grocers to put in place cage-free egg policies, saying that it will work with suppliers to reach a 100 percent cage-free shell egg offering by 2025. Salisbury, N.C.-based Delhaize America, along with its Food Lion and Hannaford banners, will make the change first in its private brand selection, which accounts for the majority of Delhaize’s shell egg sales.
“Delhaize America supports continuous improvement in animal welfare practices through its comprehensive approach to sustainability,” said JJ Fleeman, the grocer’s chief strategy and development officer, who described the move as “another step we are taking to ensure the humane treatment of animals while also reinforcing a number of strong sustainability practices we have implemented across our organization.”
The company plans to report publicly on the number of eggs affected, with the aim to increase that number year over year.
"Both Food Lion and Hannaford have increased the availability of cage-free shell egg options in both its private label and national label egg offerings, and will continue to increase the number of cage-free shell options as quickly as possible," added Fleeman.
Delhaize America works closely with a number of animal welfare consulting groups, among them Decatur, Ga.-based Compassion in World Farming.
Cincinnati-based Kroger already offers cage-free eggs under its Simple Truth and Simple Truth Organic brands. Last year, 15 percent of the eggs it sold were cage-free. The grocer affirmed that it would carry out the transition "in a way that ensures eggs are readily available, safely produced and affordably priced for all of our customers," pledging that it would keep consumers apprised of its progress thrhough its annual sustainability report.
Albertsons, Ahold USA (which is set to merge with Delhaize later this year) and BJ’s Warehouse Club have recently revealed similar cage-free egg policies.
Part of Delhaize Group, an international grocery retailer based in Brussels, Belgium, Delhaize America has more than 1,200 stores in 15 states under the Food Lion and Hannaford Supermarkets banners.
Kroger operates more than 3,400 supermarkets and convenience stores nationwide under two dozen banners, including Kroger, Harris Teeter, Ralphs, City Market, and Dillons.