The parent company of Salisbury-based Food Lion says it will begin transitioning to a 100 percent cage-free shell egg policy in its stores by 2025.
Delhaize America will begin with changes first in its private brand selection, which accounts for the majority of shell egg sales, according to a statement this week. It will then move to transition the rest of its egg supply to cage-free by 2025 or sooner based on available supply, affordability and customer demand.
The company says it will publicly report on the number of eggs involved in the transition and will aim to increase that number every year.
“(This) is another step we are taking to ensure the humane treatment of animals while also reinforcing a number of strong sustainability practices we have implemented across our organization,” said JJ Fleeman, chief strategy and development officer at Delhaize America.
Delhaize operates Food Lion and Hannaford grocery stores. Food Lion is the No. 3 supermarket chain in Charlotte by market share.
Other companies cite a focus on sustainability and concern for animal welfare as reasons for their switch to cage-free eggs. McDonald’s, for example, said in September it would transition to cage-free eggs over the next decade. Charlotte-based food service company Compass has had a cage-free policy since 2007 and said last March it was extending that policy to include liquid eggs.