What makes organic eggs better and more desirable to many consumers over conventionally-raised eggs? What are consumer expectations of organic eggs and does the organic egg industry really live up to these expectations? To what extent could the industry’s marketing be misleading consumers into thinking they are buying a product that is superior in terms of animal welfare, nutrition, respect for the land, etc.? These questions are at the core of a major new study from the Cornucopia Institute.
The aim of the report is “to empower consumers and wholesale buyers who want to invest their food dollars to protect hard-working family farmers that are in danger of being forced off the land by a landslide of eggs from factory farms.”
In fact the report reveals that to a large extent the large industrial-scale egg producers have muscled their way into the organic market while simultaneously working to weaken the organic livestock standards an in some cases violating some of the key standards, such as allowing birds access to vegetated open air environments. In some factory egg farms the Cornucopia found up to 85,000 birds crammed into filthy warehouses with little or no access to the outdoors.
In addition to the report, Cornucopia also has published a scorecard rating many of the nation’s organic egg producers. This handy scorecard makes for an easy reference to see who are the heroes as well as the abusers of the organic egg market.