The REWE Group is massively expanding its range of no-kill eggs in the fight to prevent culling millions of male chicks belonging to laying breeds. From Monday (23 September), respeggt free-range eggs will be on sale in around 1,350 REWE and PENNY stores in the German states of Mecklenburg-Western-Pomerania, Berlin, Brandenburg, Lower Saxony and Bremen, as well as parts of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse and Saxony. In November 2018, the REWE Group began selling respeggt free-range eggs in about 230 REWE and PENNY stores throughout the greater Berlin region.
“More than 1,300 of our stores will stock respeggt free-range eggs, which are produced without culling male chicks. I am delighted that our customers are supporting us through their purchasing decisions and helping to end the culling of male chicks belonging to laying breeds,” says Bartholomäus Malcherek, Head of Fresh and Frozen Produce and Purchasing and Development of Store Brands National/International for the REWE Group. “I am particularly pleased that our innovative projects, Spitz&Bube at REWE and Herzbube at PENNY, which promote rearing male chicks, are also benefiting from the current discussions around culling male chicks. Since the launch of the projects in 2016/2017, well over a million male chicks have been reared rather than killed,” continues Malcherek.
“We are working relentlessly to meet the demand for these eggs. We will be in a position to supply the majority of REWE and PENNY stores by the end of the year and will be able to meet 100% of the demand by the start of 2020,” adds Dr Ludger Breloh, Managing Director of SELEGGT. “Given the hugely pioneering work that we are undertaking, this represents an enormous achievement and forms the basis for ending the practice of culling chicks within the sector.”
In Germany alone, it is calculated that approximately 45 million male chicks belonging to egg-laying breeds are culled each year. This is due to their inability to lay eggs and their lack of suitability for meat production. The non-invasive, endocrinological SELEGGT process can conclusively identify the sex of the chick eight to ten days after the egg has been fertilised.