Battery-farmed eggs less popular with French consumers

Over half of eggs bought in French supermarkets are now from non-battery-farmed hens

Most hens’ eggs bought in France today do not come from battery-farmed hens for the first time ever, as consumer habits shift towards eggs from free-range and organic farms.

According to new figures, 52% of eggs sold in French supermarkets are now from what is called “alternative” eggs, such as those from organic farms; hens raised in barns but with access to the outside air; or hens that are free range and permitted to live outside.

In contrast, battery-farmed hens are usually kept in small cages indoors, and never allowed space to roam around or go outside.

Animal welfare groups argue that this is cruel to the animals and can lead to malformations, pain, and sores for the hens, which they say can in turn lead to lower-quality eggs.

Some supermarkets have already banned battery-farmed eggs from their shelves.

Removing all battery-farmed eggs from France was a campaign promise for President Emmanuel Macron.

During a speech on the state of French food in October 2017, he said: “When I said, during the campaign, that eggs sold to consumers would only be from free-range farms by 2022, it is because we can also reach this goal together.”

The sector has since pledged to ensure that, within the next three years, at least 50% of hens in France are not battery-farmed.

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