SCHENECTADY, NY, 2016-May-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — As part of the company’s continued commitment to sustainability and animal welfare, Price Chopper and Market 32 announced today that it will work with its suppliers to reach a 100 percent cage-free egg offering by 2025 – reflecting the phase-in time necessary to achieve a cage-free landscape that can meet consumer demand.
As sustainability, animal husbandry and animal welfare best practices influence food system innovation, consumer feedback, regulatory issues, and animal advocacy help to thoughtfully shape the purchasing policies of major food service and supermarket retailers.
“By virtue of our commitment to animal welfare, we are active participants in varied dialogue – with our customers, industry experts, and animal advocates – that influences the policy-setting process, as it makes for a more humane food system,” said Mona Golub, VP Public Relations & Consumer Services for the progressive chain with 135 store in six Northeastern states.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, the 2025 timeframe allows for the cage-free transition to be made in an economically sustainable manner, giving clarity to the future for all key stakeholders, while allowing ample time for the renovation of existing chicken houses away from cages, their replacement with cage-free equipment, and the construction of new cage-free barns.
The premise of a cage-free future relies on retail support for the U.S. egg industry in its conversion to modern cage-free housing systems. This innovation will maintain the production of commercially viable eggs, while allowing chickens to engage in natural behaviors – such as dust bathing, perching, scratching, laying eggs in a nest, and running around – that ensure as humane an environment as possible. Post-conversion, the cost of (cage-free) eggs is expected to be comparable to that which it is replacing.
Currently, nine percent of the eggs that Price Chopper and Market 32 sell are cage free. The chain’s Own Brand, known as PICS, features Large White cage-free, Extra Large Brown cage-free and Jumbo Brown cage-free dozens and a Large Brown 18pk.
“Our customers continue to drive our decision-making process when it comes to sourcing product. Their interest in knowing how and from where their food was sourced is growing, and therefore remains a top priority for us, relative to procurement, supply chain and corporate social responsibility,” added Golub.
Price Chopper’s and Market 32’s commitment was solicited by the Humane Society of the United States. “We’re appreciative of Price Chopper’s and Market 32’s commitment to a 100% cage-free offering,” said Josh Balk, senior director of food policy for the Humane Society of the United States. “Because of the thoughtful innovation being driven by the company’s senior leadership, many animals will have a much better life and consumers can build even further trust in a grocer intent on aligning the public’s concern for animal welfare with its purchasing policy.”
About The Golub Corporation: Based in Schenectady, NY, the Golub Corporation owns and operates 135 Price Chopper and Market 32 grocery stores in New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The American owned, family-managed company prides itself on longstanding traditions of innovative food merchandising, leadership in community service, and cooperative employee relations. Golub’s 21,000 teammates collectively own more than 47% of the company’s privately held stock, making it one of the nation’s largest privately held corporations that is predominantly employee-owned. For additional information, visit www.pricechopper.com
Jonathan Pierce, APR