A vote by Calgary Co-op members on Wednesday set the chain on the path to becoming the first major grocer in Canada to phase out eggs and pork produced from pigs and chickens kept in confinement cages.
Members present at the general meeting voted in favour of phasing out, over the span of five years, the sale of eggs and pork produced from animals kept in those conditions.
Approximately 90 members voted in favour and 40 against the proposal brought forward by Co-op member Clint Robertson. However, the motion won't be implemented until it's approved by the board of directors.
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Roberston, who saw the vote as a victory, took to Twitter after members approved the motion.
"A success today! Coop members voted to phase out caged eggs/pork within 5 years (instead of 3)," he said, adding that the Calgary Co-op will be the first major Canadian grocer to do so.
A success today! Coop members voted to phase out caged eggs/pork within 5 years (instead of 3) Will be first major Canadian grocer to do so— Clint Robertson (@ClintRobertson_) March 14, 2013
"We have zero tolerance for animal abuse," said Cindy Drummond, Manager of Communications at the Calgary Co-op.
Co-op does offers a selection of free-range choices, she said, and Co-op encourages consumers to be informed.
As pressure builds on the food industry to change the hen housing practice and "as industry standards change, there will be a greater selection on our shelf," she said.
Roberston encouraged people on Twitter who approve the decision to write to Co-op sharing their support.
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