Maja campaigns at Countdown’s door
Maja Skilling is standing up for those who cannot speak for themselves.
The 12-year-old protested outside Ponsonby Countdown along with other youth who are part of various animal groups.
Skilling started an online petition earlier this year, calling on the supermarket chain to stop selling caged eggs which has been backed by more than 17,500 people.
The Waikowhai Intermediate School student says the protest was organised after having conversations with the animal rights organisation, SAFE about how to get more exposure for the petition.
‘‘I want to keep the pressure on Countdown. They still haven’t named the date, but they say they are working on getting egg producers to go free range.’’
Skilling says Countdown didn’t know about the protest beforehand.
‘‘But I’m sure they would have heard and seen us. No one from Countdown came out to talk to us.’’
She met with Countdown in August who then announced the Egg Producer Programme for Free Range and Barn eggs.
Skilling thinks it is a positive step in the right direction, however she says her petition is asking for Countdown to go completely cage free.
‘‘I won’t be satisfied until Countdown has ditched cage eggs once and for all. While cage eggs remain on the shelves, hens are still suffering.’’
SAFE campaigns officer Marianne Macdonald says they will continue to support Maja through her campaigning as she is a great example of someone who cares and is taking action.
Countdown spokesperson James Walker says they had conversations with Maja and her family, and SAFE, and they let them know that they are increasing the amount of free range and barn eggs on their shelves.
‘‘In August, we announced the Countdown Egg Producer Programme for Free Range and Barn eggs to support farmers to increase the availability of free range and barn eggs. At the moment, only about 18 per cent of eggs produced in New Zealand are free range.
‘‘As a supermarket with a wide range of customers, we’re also conscious that Kiwis want a choice of eggs and affordable options.’’
Maja Skiiling and other young activists have campaigned outside Ponsonby Countdown.