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13. June 2016

Leave the beaks whole: REWE and PENNY seek to improve laying hen welfare


Will stop selling eggs from laying hens with trimmed beaks by the end of 2017

Supermarkets in the REWE Group (REWE and PENNY) have made a commitment to no longer stock conventional own-brand eggs sourced from laying hens with trimmed beaks.

Poultry industry trade associations and the Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture agreed last year to stop stocking pullets with trimmed beaks as of 1 January 2017. Based on the life expectancy of laying hens, this would mean that eggs from hens with trimmed beaks would be banned from the market by mid-2018 at the latest. The REWE Group is now one of the first trade associations in Germany to bring the date forward to the end of 2017. Organic eggs are not included in this measure, because trimming their beaks is already prohibited.

As part of its PRO PLANET egg project, the REWE Group has been monitoring laying hens with untrimmed beaks for quite some time. PENNY has carried cage-free eggs from hens with untrimmed beaks since January 2016. In the pilot project with the REWE Spitz & Bube brand, beaks are left untrimmed and, for the first time in conventional egg production, the male chicks are not killed.

The cooperatively organized REWE Group is one of the leading trade and tourism groups in Germany and Europe. In 2015, the company generated a total external turnover of around 52,4 billion euros. Founded in 1927, REWE Group operates 15,000 stores with 330,000 employees in 20 European countries. In 2015, around 232,000 employees generated turnover totalling 38.2 billion euros in approximately 10,000 stores in Germany.

Sales lines include REWE, REWE CENTER, REWE CITY and BILLA supermarkets and consumer stores, the discounter PENNY as well toom Baumarkt and B1 Discount Baumarkt DIY stores. There are also the organic supermarkets (TEMMA), innovative convenience stores (REWE To Go), the gastronomic concept “Oh Angie!” and e-commerce activities (REWE online with a pick-up and delivery service), Zooroyal, Weinfreunde and Kölner Weinkeller. Travel and tourism under the umbrella of DER Touristik includes the tour operators ITS, Jahn Reisen and Travelix as well as Dertour, Meier’s Weltreisen, ADAC Reisen, Kuoni, Helvetic Tours, Apolllo and Exim Tours; the business travel division FCm Travel Solutions; more than 2,400 travel agencies (DER Reisebüro, DERPART, Kuoni, etc.); the hotel chains lti hotels, Club Calimera and PrimaSol Hotels; and a direct tour operator, clevertours.com.