Woolworths is committed to improving animal welfare and we work closely with our suppliers to continue to raise the bar.
All of our fresh pork meat is sourced from farms that only use stalls for less than 10% of the sows' gestation period.
We will only sell non-cage produced eggs in our stores and only use non-cage produced eggs in the ingredients of our own brand products by December 2018. We are working closely with our egg suppliers across Australia to achieve this. So what are the different non-cage production systems for Woolworths own brand eggs?
Barn - hens are housed indoors in barns during the day and at night. Food and water are provided to the birds and they have access to nest boxes in which they can lay their eggs. They are also provided with a number of perches on which they can choose to roost.
Free range - hens are housed in barns and have access to feed and water. The barns have nest boxes in which hens lay their eggs and perches on which they can roost. During daylight hours birds have access to a range area through pop-holes along the side of the barn. Should they choose to access the range, birds have shade or shelter and are able to dustbathe, peck, scratch and perform other normal behaviours. The maximum permitted stocking density of birds on the range is 10,000 birds per hectare (where hens are regularly rotated into fresh range areas and some vegetation cover is provided). Birds are protected from predators by fencing and also by being housed at night in the barns. During periods of extreme weather conditions the farmer will manage the birds access to the range to ensure animal welfare is maintained.
Macro Organic - Macro Organic eggs are produced in a similar way to that described for our Select free range. The only differences are the stocking density on the range (where there is a maximum permitted stocking density of 1,500 birds / hectare (2,500 birds per hectare is permitted where hens are regularly rotated into fresh range areas and some vegetation cover is provided)), the birds are fed an organic cereal based diet and the range on which the birds have access is organic certified. Farms are organic certified by Australian Certified Organic.
Woolworths will move to RSPCA (or equivalent) standard for all fresh chicken meat sold in our stores by December 2014. Woolworths own-brand products in-store where chicken is a defined visible ingredient (i.e. chicken pieces) will also use RSPCA (or equivalent) standard by December 2018.