Movie actor and director Ryan Gosling has added his voice to a campaign for the US wholesaler Costco to remove battery cage chicken eggs from its supply chain.
In an open letter to the retailer’s CEO Craig Jelinek, Gosling wrote: “So many corporations are meeting public demand for more humane products and transparency in the food chain. I sincerely hope that Costco will set plans now to go completely cage-free for its eggs.”
It follows an undercover investigation by the Humane Society of the United States that alleged mistreatment of chickens by a Costco supplier.
The supplier, Hillandale Farms, said its high standards had been compromised by the undercover investigator, who had “disregarded operational procedures” and had intended to misrepresent the firm. It added an investigation by the company and external academics had confirmed the images in the footage were an "isolated incident" that should have been identified by the employee.
“Our expert review has affirmed that our food safety and hen care programs are solid. This single incident should not be cause for customer concern. We want you to be confident in the quality and safety of the eggs purchased from Hillandale Farms," it added
The Humane Society said Costco had made a commitment to cage-free eggs in 2007, but had not provided a timetable for its introduction.
A statement from Costco provided to SM said: "Inspections that we have conducted there as recently as this week confirmed for us that Hillandale is behaving appropriately. Hillandale has identified some areas in which it believes it can improve, including process improvement and more training for its employees. We support these efforts."