Egg Farmers of Canada has announced a commitment to transition from conventional egg production towards cage-free eggs by 2036.

The agricultural organisation represents more than 1,000 Canadian egg farms. These farms will take a “collective approach” to the change, which will take hen welfare, human health, resource implications and environmental impact into account. 

“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, chairman of Egg Farmers of Canada. 

“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.

Egg Farmers of Canada said that a significant portion of restructuring will be completed within eight years. Presently about 90% of egg production represented by Egg Farmers of Canada is in conventional housing. The other 10% is in enriched housing, free-run, aviary or free-range. Under the plan, the industry expects to achieve about a 50-50% mix in 8 years, about 85% (alternative production) in 15 years. All production would be in enriched housing, free-run, aviary or free-range by 2036, assuming the current market conditions prevail.