Sir; I read with interest the article in last week's issue ­ Waitrose takes high ground with no battery hen message (March 2, 2002, p23). Marks & Spencer was in fact the first food retailer in 1997 to announce that it would only be selling free range whole eggs. Then, in July 2001, we went one step beyond the shell egg guarantee by announcing we would be completely removing battery eggs from all our food where egg is used as an ingredient. This affects hundreds of recipes and products ­ from ready meals to ambient foods including quiches, meringues, cakes and ice cream, and marks a true milestone in food retailing. We're passionate about animal welfare and it is something we take very seriously. Marks and Spencer's move was in direct response to customer concerns about the use of battery eggs and animal welfare issues and marks our continued commitment to listening to our customers. David Gregory Head of food technology Marks and Spencer {{LETTERS }}