Countdown: The path to cage-free

May 2021: Five Countdown stores to sell only cage-free eggs on shelf

Five Countdown stores have transitioned to only selling cage-free eggs as part of its goal towards 100 per cent cage free eggs on shelf by the end of 2024 in the North Island and the end of 2025 in the South Island.

Countdown’s Milford, Waiheke Island, Crofton Downs, Grey Lynn and Newtown stores will have only free-range and barn eggs available for purchase. The change is a critical test and learn exercise that will help us understand how we can make the cage-free transition as easy as possible for our customers.

Three other stores (Metro Albert Street, Metro Halsey Street, and Richmond) have only sold cage-free eggs since they first opened in 2019 and 2021.

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November 2020: Countdown unveils 2025 sustainability plan with a strengthened commitment to cage-free eggs

Countdown has unveiled its ambitious new sustainability plan to 2025, Kia pai ake te apōpō - A Better Tomorrow. The plan details the significant work we will undertake over the coming years to reduce our environmental impact and support our team and communities.

There are more than 40 commitments included in the plan, and we have identified 13 game-changers from across three focus areas: people, planet and product, that we believe will drive some of the most powerful changes.

One of our game-changers is that by 2025, all eggs sold in our stores and eggs used as an ingredient in our Own Brand products will be cage-free.

March 2017: Countdown announces it will go cage-free with support from egg producers


Countdown has become the first national retailer to announce it will go cage-free in all of its own-shelf eggs.

Countdown’s goal is to have 100 percent cage free eggs on shelf by the end of 2024 in the North Island and the end of 2025 in the South Island subject to regulatory changes and based on available supply, affordability and customer demand.

Countdown has set out a pathway to meet this goal working together with our supply partners and we are confident that we have secured enough future volume from our partners.

Countdown’s Egg Producer Programme for Free Range and Barn launched in 2016 to provide certainty to suppliers that if they invest in free range or barn egg farming, we will buy those eggs. By continuing to work together with our egg producers, we are confident we can source the 150 million free range and barn eggs each year we need to meet the needs of our customers

February 2017: Countdown own brand eggs to go cage-free by end of 2022

Countdown has announced its commitment to sell only free range and barn eggs across all its own brand eggs by the end of 2022.

Under the New Zealand government’s Layer Hens Code of Welfare, farmers must stop producing battery caged eggs by 31 December 2022. Countdown has also decided to phase out colony-caged eggs from its private label eggs by this date.

To meet this goal, Countdown will need to find approximately 40,000 dozen free range and barn eggs per week to meet customer demand, or 25 million eggs per year.

July 2016: Countdown launches Egg Producer Programme for Barn and Free Range

Countdown has launched a new Egg Producer Programme for Free Range and Barn to increase the cage-free egg supply available at Countdown stores for our customers.

Currently just 18% of eggs produced in New Zealand are free range. Countdown has been steadily increasing our supply to meet customer demand. What this programme means is that our free range and barn egg farmers have certainty that their investment into increasing production will be worth it, and for Countdown it means we have a planned programme to supply these eggs to our customers.

We understand that making a commitment to increase production of free range and barn eggs requires investment and takes time.This programme allows farmers to invest in producing additional capacity, knowing that Countdown will commit to retailing the eggs in future.