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Canadian egg farmers making industry-wide transition to cage-free

Shift to cage-free will yield almost 50% restructuring in as soon as eight years.

Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) announced today that more than 1,000 Canadian egg farms are beginning a transition from conventional egg production toward cage-free production.

"In response to the best-available scientific research and in light of changing consumer preferences, I'm pleased that the entire industry has agreed to an orderly transition plan that will further diversify our production practices," said Peter Clarke, EFC chairman. "We see immense potential to leverage research and innovation to achieve the best possible outcomes across all factors of sustainable food production, which includes everything from environmental impacts to food affordability," he added.

This major shift will yield almost 50% restructuring in as soon as eight years from now and includes a commitment to cease installation of any new conventional housing. Presently, about 90% of egg production is in conventional housing. The other 10% or so is in enriched, free-run, aviary or free-range housing.

Under the plan, to be overseen by a national working group in collaboration with the entire egg supply chain, the industry expects to achieve about a 50/50 mix in eight years and about 85% alternative production in 15 years. All production would be in enriched, free-run, aviary or free-range housing by 2036, assuming that current market conditions prevail.

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