Sometime soon, David Radlo of Radlo Foods says his sign in front of the former DeCoster Egg Farm will be coming down and all his business at the massive egg operation in Turner will come to an end. Radlo says he will no longer rely on hens or eggs that come from Maine Contract Farming, the company owned by egg farm magnate Jack DeCoster, one of the nation's biggest producers of brown eggs.
Says Radlo, "We've given up that facility and we're moving on down the road and we're sourcing from other states right now but there's an important thing that people need to know: we hear you loud and clear."
Radlo's announcement follows word from Pennsylvania-based egg supplier Eggland's Best that it would drop Radlo Foods as one of its franchisees. In a written statement the company said it was making the move after an investigation revealed that Radlo Foods violated the terms of an agreement by working with a farm that is not in compliance with its strict animal welfare standards. Instead, Eggland's Best says it will get classic brown eggs from other locations. Its white eggs, cage-free and organic eggs are not involved.
Nathan Runkle, executive director of Mercy for Animals, an Ohio-based animal rights organization, commends Eggland's Best "for finally stepping up to the plate and taking responsibility for their involvement in this abusive facility."
Mercy for Animals sent an undercover investigator to work at the former DeCoster Egg Farm in Turner where he secretly videotaped hens being spun by the neck and kicked into manure pits or thrown into garbage cans and left to die for several days. The group's findings have now triggered an investigation by the state's Animal Welfare Program. The Hannaford Brothers supermarket chain has also announced that it will begin vigorously enforcing an agreement it has with egg suppliers not to do business with the farm.
Here's a link to the investigative video. Be warned, it's hard to watch.