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Free-range chicken edges closer to mainstream



Agri-Business | News | Public Relations | Sales | Small Business | Sustainability

By Stephanie Zillman

Shifting consumer preferences for free-range chicken is making a real impact on what is being sold across Australia.

Fast food retailer SumoSalad is the latest outlet to switch to free-range chicken across its entire range. The company did so in response to growing consumer concern for animal welfare.

“At SumoSalad, we recognise that we need to adapt to the wants and needs of our customers. With growing concern for the heinous conditions of battery farming, it was time for us to find a way to make the switch to free-range,” SumoSalad owner and co-founder Luke Baylis said.

From 30 January, all chicken products in SumoSalad will have been certified with SPCA Blue Tick standards and undergo annual audits, along with spot audits to guarantee that they have been humanely farmed from paddock to plate. The chicken is not certified organic.

The announcement coincides with moves by Coles and Woolworths to phase out the sales of caged eggs.

From 2018 Woolworths will phase out caged eggs, and exclusively sell free cage-free eggs (meaning the chickens are housed in barns). Despite caged eggs being significantly cheaper to produce, consumer preference towards animal welfare-favoured products was a key factor in the supermarket’s decision.

Coles ceased selling self-branded caged eggs in 2013, though continues to stock caged-eggs produced by other brands.

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