Sainsbury’s Selling Caged Eggs

When is your word worthless? The first time you break it.

This letter from them explains it all…

In February 2009 Sainsbury’s became the first major supermarket to cease selling eggs from caged birds. This move affected the lives of over half a million hens.

Regrettably, due to adverse weather conditions in the run up to Christmas, our suppliers were unable to reach the farms that supply our free range eggs.  Whilst we were able to secure an additional supply of free range eggs, we were still faced with an overall shortfall of availability across our stores.

As a temporary measure, we were therefore forced to take a delivery of eggs from caged hens in order to maintain availability for our customers.  The eggs were supplied by a third party brand, ‘Goldenlay’, and were available in our stores until our normal supply channels were able to resume.

Please rest assured that we remain committed to our pledge to sell only eggs from non-caged birds.  We have no intention to alter our position unless forced to do so as a result of exceptional circumstances, such as those recently experienced.

I do hope you will understand the reasons for our decision and the need to balance our position with ensuring that we continue to serve our customers with an important part of their weekly shop.

If you have any queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely,

Caroline Miller

Brand Sustainability and Integrity Manager
Sainsbury’s, 33 Holborn, London, EC1N 2HT

So in other words…

Sainsbury’s pledged to stop selling cruelly raised eggs unless it became inconvenient. I hereby pledge not to rob anybody  (unless I run short of money)

Their brand sustainability and integrity manager is apparently not doing a good job – the pledge lasted less than a year and as for integrity… The word means “adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.” Not “oops, it’s become difficult to adhere to my principals”

After all the efforts of Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall last year, we thought some headway was being made on ethical food standards. As someone who has visited a battery hen facility (I won’t grace it with the name farm) I know most people would feel the same about caged eggs and broiler chicken. Sainsbury’s seem to think we’ll forget quickly. Well we haven’t.

I really don’t think I need to say more.

Posted in Rants and Raves
10 comments on “Sainsbury’s Selling Caged Eggs
  1. Tracy says:

    I’ve just had a similar response from their customer services. The word FORCED keeps cropping up.

    They weren’t FORCED they made a choice.

    I’m also going to make a choice and it will FORCE me to drive straight past them. Unlike the poor chickens, I can stretch my legs and hold my head up high as I go sraight past their door.

    Hope that doesn’t get you into any trouble John. Complete version had pages and pages of of expletive and fury that had to be edited.

  2. John says:

    I’m FORCED to agree with you and FORCED not to shop there, Tracy

  3. gee says:

    You should have seen a programe on BBC tonight about factory
    farming in the good old USA,the way the pigs were treated on this farm was a disgrace.

  4. sheila stephenson says:

    The best egg to be eaten is one that is ‘home grown’! I am lucky enough to have space for a few hens and ducks and once you have enjoyed the scrumpious creaminess of eggs from the backgarden nothing compares! But if you dont have time or the inclination then buying from a local farm or backyard farmer is as good as ! Supermarket eggs are just not fresh enough and can never say ‘this was laid this morning’or ‘would you like to see the hens that laid those?’ ……..thats priceless

  5. John says:

    Of course ‘home grown’ from small suppliers are best – but most people shop in supermarkets so we need to convince them to apply some ethics and stick with them even when it may be inconvenient.
    I can’t believe Sainsbury’s customers wouldn’t have understood an honest explanation of why they had no free-range eggs and respected their stance

  6. Chris says:

    Thanks for pointing this out – I hadn’t realised. Sainsbury’s is usually my supermarket of choice, but I shan’t be buying eggs from them again and I’ve just sent in a comment to that effect from their web site.

    At the end of the day, I don’t have to eat eggs – I can always go without if free range are not available.

  7. wildwitchy says:

    I’ve just sent a letter of complaint to sainsburys & telling them I won’t shop there again. I haven’t eaten a shop egg for ages since having all my lot. Nothing beats eating an egg that has just been laid-then five minutes later it’s your plate.

  8. Stewart says:

    I stopped buying sainsbury’s eggs anyway. The reason was that the eggs are usually about 4-6 weeks old. I also find it very easy to find local laid free range and they’re cheaper. Shells are almost like paper, eggs are lovely. Forget the supermarket and search for locally grown fresh eggs…!

  9. Mr Tunstall says:

    Sustainability & Integrity manager?

    Like political parties Sainsbury’s have become adept at spin and all other forms of lying.
    The profound reason they ‘will never get it’ is because they are particularly skillful at lying even to themselves!

    Translated; ‘Customer care/relations’ means; How can we slant our argument to maximise our profit from customers?

    ‘Integrity/promise’ means; How best to spin a web of lies to keep our stupid customers believing in us?

    It’s all about sustainability of profits; Right?
    Inevitable when most of these businesses are run by spivs with second rate law degrees or a qualification called an MBA.

  10. Lucy says:

    I have just been to Sainsburys and this isn’t about the eggs, but the meat. All the free range outdoor meat is on the very top shelf and hardly visible especially for someone short like me! There is hardly any choice either. All these nice things made up ready especially for BBQs, NONE made with free range meat!
    I did comment to staff that it should be lower down!

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