Labels found on foods at your neighborhood grocery store include "all natural," "fair trade," and "organic." When it comes to eggs, the term "cage free" may also appear on packaging. In order to earn the distinction, egg-laying hens must each have 120 square inches to themselves on a farm. One day in the future, you will only be able to purchase cage-free eggs at Costco.
Out of all of the locations where you can find a Costco around the world, only France, Iceland, Spain, and the U.K. have cage-free eggs at 100% of their warehouses, according to the retailer's statement on animal welfare. For comparison's sake, the U.S. has them in 93.2% of its stores.
Costco is the first major retailer in the U.S. to adopt a policy on animal confinement, according to The Poultry Site. In early December, Josh Dahmen, the financial planning and investor relations director at Costco, said the company "will continue to increase the percentage over time with a goal of eventually getting to 100%, although this may take several years in some countries due to issues with availability."
That goal will take some time to achieve, but the hard work is already in progress. Costco is currently building a 50,000-hen egg-laying farm just north of Shanghai, which is set to open in 2021, according to China Food Safety News.
In the meantime, take a closer look at the egg section on your next trip to the warehouse. Among the cage-free products currently available are Kirkland Signature Liquid Eggs and 24-packs of Kirkland Signature Organic Large Brown Eggs.
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