In a surprise move, Coles has stopped selling caged eggs in one Australian state.
It’s part of a move by the supermarket giant to phase out caged eggs from stores in all states by 2023, replacing the popular grocery item with cage-free eggs “from hens free to socialise and perch in a big barn”.
So far Western Australia is the first state to see caged eggs pulled from shelves in Coles. But while the initiative has been warmly received by many customers, it’s contributed to a new egg shortage in WA in recent times.
Before they were phased out, Coles were selling around 20,000 dozen caged eggs each week. Now shelves are reportedly often almost bare due to various factors - including the move away from caged eggs and recent salmonella outbreaks in eggs from the Eastern states, meaning less are coming into WA.
Coles will phase out caged eggs from all their supermarkets by 2023.
Meanwhile WA egg farmers are struggling with the costly move towards cage-free production as well as rising feed costs.
Despite the obstacles, Coles say they’re working to resolve the issue.
‘Coles has increased the amount of eggs we are purchasing from our WA egg suppliers and are working with them to improve availability to meet this increase in demand,’ the spokesman told The West Australian.