Wild Oats Says Set Our Chickens Free
By George Anderson
Wild Oats Markets said the company is being true to its self and its customers. The company announced it would only sell eggs laid by hens that were cage free.
The United Egg Producers said Wild Oats is misleading the public about the animal-welfare aspect of this issue and, in the end, the retailer’s decision will cost its shoppers
more than $1 million a year to buy eggs at the chain.
According to a release from the United Egg Producers, “There are no science-based guidelines for cage free production, and many cage free hens are subject to more diseases, predators
and weather. Only eggs that carry the Animal Care Certified seal (www.animalcarecertified.com) are based on scientific
guidelines which were developed by the egg industry in conjunction with an independent scientific committee of animal welfare experts. That Animal Care Certified seal is the consumers’
only guarantee that the eggs were produced in proper conditions, which provide adequate space, food, water, air and cleanliness.”
The Denver Post reported, “The Better Business Bureau has ruled that the Animal Care Certified logo is misleading and purports a higher standard than actually exists.”
United Egg Producers vice president Gene Gregory said, “Cage free eggs are sold at twice the price of regular eggs and are much more profitable for retailers. Wild Oats’ decision
may be based more on profit motives than on concerns about hens.”
“Consumers who want to be free to make their own purchasing decisions about the kinds of eggs they prefer or who want more competitive prices may want to shop at other grocery
stores,” he added.
Wild Oats dismissed the Egg Producers’ claims. The company said its prices on eggs were not going to change as a result of this decision and that profit motive was not part of
this decision. The decision according to the retailer simply formalized existing policy.
Moderator’s Comment: Will either Wild Oats of the United Egg Producers come out with egg on their face as a result of the flap over the retailer’s decision
only to sell eggs from cage-free chickens? –
George Anderson – Moderator
- Wild Oats ruffling egg firm’s feathers – Denver Post
- Egg Trade Association Criticizes Wild Oats Markets – United Egg Producers/PRNewswire