Germany's Rewe Group has pledged that male chicks will no longer be killed in the production process for its fresh eggs.
The group is hoping to implement the changes in its egg production facilities by the end of this year, as well as adjust the packaging designs on its egg products to reflect the changes.
Rewe purchasing manager Hans-Jürgen Moog said the group is "living up to our pioneering role in this animal welfare issue" with the introduction of kill-free eggs.
Moog says issues of animal welfare, such as male chicks, "have become increasingly important to our customers".
Rewe was the first German supermarket chain to initiate animal welfare projects aimed at protecting male chicks in 2016. Before these practices were introduced, some 45 million male chicks would be killed in Germany alone every year, as part of the production process.
Change Of Approach
Rewe will now rear all male chicks until they are ready for processing into chicken products.
The group is planning on implementing best animal welfare practice during the rearing period, such as GMO-free feed and allowing the chicks to move around and interact with their environment.
The group uses technology to determine the sex of the chick in the egg, leading to only those that contain female chicks being hatched, with the male hatching eggs processed into high-quality feed.
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Conor Farrelly. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.