WOOLWORTHS shareholders — not animal welfare — stand to benefit most from the supermarket chain’s decision to phase out cage eggs.
That’s according to Victorian Farmers Federation egg group president Brian Ahmed.
In a move welcomed by the animal welfare lobby as “a major victory for battery hens” Woolworths last October said it would remove caged eggs from its shelves by 2018.
However, Mr Ahmed this week said supermarkets were simply capitalising on animal welfare concerns despite a lot of work being done by producers to improve conditions.
He said supermarkets were “very good at what they do and they know how they can increase the return to their shareholders”.
“They want to sell more free-range eggs because there is more money in them,” Mr Ahmed said. “That’s what it basically comes down to — $3 for a carton of cage eggs versus $5 or $6 for free range.”