Morrisons Frees the Egg-Layers from Their Cages

By Gary Cutlack on at

Supermarket Morrisons has done a positive thing for the good of the UK's poultry stocks, as it's become the first of the major supermarkets to go entirely free range and end the selling of eggs produced by hens forced to live in cages.

This is obviously a good thing on the surface of it, as the supermarket says it now needs to acquire an additional 107 million non-caged hen eggs from free range suppliers each year. What it doesn't mention is that the other millions of eggs used in products it sells, like the ones in the custard fillings, the ones in the sandwiches, the ones used to make the pastry slightly crispier, and the ones in things you wouldn't in a million years imagine to contain egg, but there it is on the list in bold to boot, will not be entirely free range until 2025.

Also, sorry to go on about it if you were the person from Morrisons who emailed us the press release thinking it was a great idea, but what passes for "free range" can be laughably terrible too. 25,000 bald hens walking around steel shelves in warehouses being punished as if they were all component atoms of Jimmy Savile in a previous life is enough to qualify to put a smiling chicken doing a thumbs-up with its few remaining wing feathers on your egg box, it seems, although if the person from Morrisons can get back to us with some illustrative images of hen conditions from its suppliers we'll delete this bit. It's just that photo we've used atop the page is no way how all 107 million eggs are going to come into being at a cost that enables six to be sold for 75p.