ALDI will sell cage-eggs at its South Lakes outlet when it opens later this year, despite having phased them out from its European and American operations.
Coles has already removed generic-brand cage-eggs and reduced the price of free-range eggs. Woolworths is phasing cage-eggs out over two years.
Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren says cage-eggs are produced in conditions the RSPCA has described as “intense suffering”. Eleven million birds still spend their lives in cages in Australia.
“Aldi’s refusal to stop selling eggs produced through the cage system is, quite frankly, shocking,” Ms MacLaren says.
The MLC also describes as “very disappointing” a new standard allowing “free range” to be applied to densities of 10,000 hens per hectare.
Animal advocates had been pushing for the label to apply to no more than 1500 per hectare, as per the current model of practice (which has been routinely ignored by big producers).