Supermarket chain Morrisons is giving an extra 1p per egg back to farmers on every For Farmers medium egg sold – so that they can create more biodiverse farmland.
Money raised from sales of Morrisons For Farmers ‘Chuckle Eggs’ will be ploughed back into establishing better free-range farmland for laying hens. The retailer became the first major supermarket to sell only free-range eggs earlier this year.
Morrisons says its free-range hens cost farmers significantly more to keep as the retailer requires producers to plant fields with 20% trees. It also insists on enriched nesting boxes and special undercover shaded areas.
It says the extra investment may also be used by many farmers to create new or adapted buildings for their birds. Farms will also be encouraged to set aside land for wild bees and insects to increase their numbers.
The Morrisons agriculture team has helped to formulate a pollen and nectar rich flower mixture – to establish dedicated bumblebee and insect habitats. For every 16,000 birds they have, farmers have been asked to plant one acre of seed mix.
Morrisons head of agriculture Sophie Throup said: “Improving animal welfare and looking after our farmed and natural environment is important for us and our customers. By giving back to our egg farmers, they can create the highest welfare outside and indoors.
“Planting woodland, pollen and nectar rich habitats will also bring huge and wider benefits to our countryside, and support sustainable food production into the future.”