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Labelling works

Freedom Food free-range egg box ©RSPCA Photolibrary

Egg labelling is a good example of successful food labelling where the relationship between the consumer, the retailer, the producer and legislation were all important factors.


When a popular fast food chain switched to cage-free eggs in 1997, caged production stood at almost 90 per cent and there were too few free-range producers to meet demand. In 2004 compulsory method of production labelling of shell eggs was introduced EU-wide and finally shoppers were provided with clear and simple information about how the hens are kept.
 

Egg box and labelling codes ©RSPCA Photolibrary

Not only were consumers able to identify 'higher welfare' eggs, those from battery cage systems were labelled 'eggs from caged hens', meaning shoppers could make an informed choice.


We, alongside other animal welfare organisations worked hard to increase the public’s understanding of the impact of cage conditions on the birds the themselves, and by 2011 cage-free whole eggs accounted for more than half of the UK’s production (51 per cent) helping to create better lives for millions of egg-laying hens