Morrisons has joined Tesco, Aldi and Iceland in pledging to stop sourcing eggs from caged hens by 2025.
Morrisons will only stock free-range eggs or eggs from barn systems by 2025.
Tesco announced it would stop sourcing eggs from caged hens earlier in July. Aldi and Iceland have also made similar commitments. Sainsbury’s, Co-op, Waitrose and Marks and Spencer have already stopped sourcing eggs from caged birds.
A spokesman from Morrisons said, ”We have been listening hard to our customers about eggs from caged hens. Today we are making a commitment that by 2025 all our eggs will be from non-caged hens."
The NFU called for retailers to be clear on what will replace the current production system.
Currently 40 per cent of shoppers buy eggs from enriched cage systems. The NFU believes the decision will force the egg industry into its biggest change since the introduction of the enriched cage system in 2012 which cost farmers in excess of £400m.
NFU poultry board chairman Duncan Priestner warned this decision would not just impact on those using enriched cages but would have a knock-on effect on the entire egg sector.
“Although 2025 is nine years away, time is of the essence to allow our producers to make the necessary changes, with minimal disruption to their businesses and to our customers – the British public - a market worth an estimated £895m," he said.
“We have built good relations with the retailers – UK agriculture’s biggest customer - and will be looking to those relationships to secure much needed clarification and certainty for our members."
British Free Range Producers Association (BFREPA) CEO Robert Gooch told Farmers Guardian last week he was worried the promises would mean free range eggs are no longer seen as a premium.