27/09/2018 – News / Food processing / Poultry / Eggs / Sustainability / Orkla Foods / Sweden / Norway
Orkla Foods Norge pledges switch to free-range eggs
Nordic group Orkla Foods has announced plans to use only eggs from free-range hens in its food products from Orkla Foods Norge and Orkla Foods Sverige by 1 January 2020. The decision was made as part of the group’s efforts to develop sustainable value chains, and is firmly aligned with Orkla’s animal welfare policy and strategy for sustainable sourcing.
Paul Jordahl, CEO of Orkla Foods Norge, said: “For us at Orkla Foods Norge, it’s a question of making sure that our branded consumer goods are produced with care for people, animals and the environment, and that we contribute to a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. Switching to using eggs from free-range hens is a step on the road to becoming a more sustainable company, and ensuring good animal welfare is one aspect of this process.”
Orkla Foods Norge uses over 35 million eggs as ingredients in more than 130 products ranging from dressings, soups and sauces to a wide assortment of bakery products. The eggs are primarily used in Idun dressings and TORO products. “The fact that we buy such large volumes of eggs every year makes us an important market player. Our decision can have a significant impact – not least for the hens,” Mr Jordahl pointed out.
The decision to switch to cage-free eggs was taken in close cooperation with Nortura, the company’s main supplier of eggs today. Nortura has set a goal of achieving almost 100 per cent cage-free production by 2024, and in the period prior to that date the company’s producers will gradually convert from enriched cages to free-range production.
“As Nortura’s biggest customer, we were given a chance to be one of the first food manufacturers to use cage-free eggs in Norway, and the time frame gives the farmers time to adapt,” said Johanne Kjuus, Head of Sustainability at Orkla Foods Norge. “The decision also has the positive consequence that we will primarily be using eggs produced in Norway, and as a company we consider it important to use Norwegian raw materials,” she added.
As of 1 July this year, the Norwegian firm’s Swedish sister company Orkla Foods Sverige switched to using only eggs from free-range hens in its products. Each year it uses around 1,000 tonnes of eggs, primarily in the popular Frödinge Ostekake cheesecake, but also in other food products such as Felix pies, Frödinge Kladdkakar chocolate mud cakes and Tårtor cakes.