Lincolnshire Co-op has cut ties with a duck egg brand linked with animal cruelty.
Earlier this year, Viva! investigated Field Farm, a duck egg producer that sells under the brand name Quack! Duck Eggs. The farm is also linked with Stonegate, a duck egg producer that works with supermarkets like Waitrose and Marks & Spencer.
Viva! reportedly found ducks living in dirty, “disturbing” conditions at Field Farm. Straw was covered in decaying feces and urine, and there was little access to water baths. (In the wild, ducks spend significant amounts of time dipping in and out of the water, in which they bathe and swim.)
Workers were also caught dislocating ducks’ necks and leaving them suffering.
Drakes were also found repetitively mating with female ducks. Viva! notes this “inevitably results” in supermarkets unknowingly selling fertilized eggs.
Lincolnshire Co-op made ‘absolutely the right decision’
After seeing the results of the investigation, Lincolnshire Co-op decided to initially suspend Quack! Duck Eggs from its supplier list. Now it has delisted them altogether.
Viva!’s managing director Laura Hellwig praised the chain, which has more than 220 stores in Lincolnshire and the surrounding counties, for making “absolutely the right decision.”
“Not only for consumers who are being sold lies about the welfare standards of the farm but also for the poor ducks,” she added.
Viva! was first tipped off about Field Farm’s practices by an anonymous former employee, who said their experience working at the producer “will haunt them forever.”
They noted that Field Farm’s treatment of animals was “absolutely disgusting.”
Duck eggs are becoming more popular, with many seeing them as a luxury in comparison to chicken eggs.
But Hellwig says she hopes more supermarkets will now follow Lincolnshire Co-op’s lead. She added that for “consumers who don’t want to be complicit in the many animal abuses involved in farming,” the “simple” solution is to follow a plant-based diet.