Colruyt’s organic supermarket chain, Bio-Planet, has updated its egg production requirements with the aim of improving animal welfare.
The retailer will now only sell eggs that come from production without chick-culling.
In Europe, some 300 million male chicks are culled shortly after hatching every year.
This is because, compared to female chickens, they need up to four times more food to grow, and they produce little meat.
To avoid the culling of chicks, Bio-Planet will source eggs from farms that implement the Seleggt technique, to distinguish between male and female eggs after only nine days of incubation.
The eggs that will hatch into roosters are removed from the hatching circuit and processed into animal feed, the retailer noted.
Bio-Planet Removes Chick-Culling
Over the past 20 years, Bio-Planet has focused on ‘conscious consumption’, selling organic eggs from free-range organic chickens, reared according to high animal welfare standards.
The organic chickens eat organic feed, spend a third of their lives outdoors, and, when inside, they have more space than chickens do in conventional poultry farming.
Jan Van Holsbeke, managing director of Bio-Planet, said, “We first started applying the technique to our white Boni organic eggs and immediately saw potential for further expansion. Today, Bio-Planet only sells eggs that have been selected by the Seleggt technique, but, of course, we keep our eyes open for other technologies.
“The fact that we have been able to convert our entire range of fresh organic eggs is an important step towards more animal welfare. We want to show, in our pioneering role, that with the right innovative techniques, we can really make a difference within the sector.”