Statement to stakeholders: UEP definition of cage-free egg production

May 23, 2017

Atlanta, Ga. (May 23, 2017) – Chad Gregory, President and CEO of United Egg Producers, provided this statement to media and industry stakeholders:

As a valued industry stakeholder, we wanted you to be among the first to know of a recent development at our May 2017 United Egg Producers board meeting.

We recognize there have been many questions regarding the proper definition for cage-free hen housing. Addressing this confusion in the marketplace was something that our farmer-members took very seriously, and it was important to get the language just right. It was equally important that this definition reflect the diversity of housing options available to UEP members, and egg farmers' commitment to assuring hen health and well-being in all housing environments.

I am pleased to share with you that the UEP board unanimously passed the below definition, which will be adopted by United Egg Producers as the language to define today's cage-free hen housing for our industry.

“Cage-free eggs are laid by hens that are able to roam vertically and horizontally in indoor houses, and have access to fresh food and water. Cage-free systems vary from farm-to-farm, and can include multi-tier aviaries. They must allow hens to exhibit natural behaviors and include enrichments such as scratch areas, perches and nests. Hens must have access to litter, protection from predators and be able to move in a barn in a manner that promotes bird welfare.”