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27 May 2010 : As people become more aware of animal welfare, Hellmann's announces a move to use free-range eggs in Europe.
Following our move to use eggs from cage-free hens in Hellmann’s products across Western Europe, Hellmann’s Light is making the same switch in North America.
Free-range and organic foods are becoming increasingly popular, as shoppers grow more aware of animal welfare – and care where the food on their plate comes from.
As well as more ethically sourced meat and vegetables, people are switching to free-range and barn eggs – but many are unaware that other products they buy contain eggs sourced from battery farms.
Around three-quarters of Europe's 300 million egg-laying hens are still kept in battery cages where they are denied natural light and are unable to do the things that come naturally to chickens – like perching, nest-building and dust-bathing.
However, barn egg hens are given more room and allowed to perch and nest, while free-range hens get more room still and are able to access outdoor runs – meaning they have a much better quality of life.
Hellmann’s delivered on our pledge to use eggs from cage-free hens in all its products across Western Europe in 2009 – a year ahead of the brand’s schedule.
Building on this commitment, in March 2010 we announced plans to change the Hellmann’s Light recipe in North America to use exclusively cage-free eggs in the US and Canada. The move makes Hellmann’s Light the first consumer product of its stature and volume in the packaged foods industry to use 100% cage-free eggs.
As North America is Hellmann’s biggest market, producing the cage-free formula will involve sourcing approximately 1.6 million kilos (3.5 million lbs) of eggs from an estimated 125,000 hens. That’s enough to produce 30 million jars of mayonnaise.
The sourced eggs will be American Humane Certified, an accreditation programme administered by the American Humane Association, the leading certifier of cage-free eggs in the US. Because there is not a certification equivalent in Canada, free-range eggs sourced there will also be required to meet American Humane Certification criteria.
Hellmann’s aspires to change all its ‘Real Food’ mayonnaise recipes, including Real, Canola Cholesterol Free, Olive Oil, and Low Fat Mayonnaise Dressings, to cage-free eggs once a certifiable and consistent supply become available in North America, and is working closely with suppliers to achieve this goal.
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