Bidfood Australia has just announced they will be eliminating cage eggs by 2025. The company provides 115 million eggs to the Australian food services sector annually including to restaurants, hospitals, hotels and schools.
Bidfood’s CEO Rachel Ruggerio said that the company will begin removing cage eggs from its own brand range by 2023, so as to reach the 100 per cent cage-free eggs target by 2025.
“While many consumers choose to buy cage-free eggs at supermarkets, it is important that they are also able to have confidence that the eggs being served when they dine out are also cage-free,” said Ruggerio who added that the company is the first major Australian foodservice distributor to make this commitment to go cage-free.
Move welcomed by animal campaigners
The change has been welcomed by animal rights campaigners as being a step closer to ending the use of battery cages in the egg industry.
Animals Australia CEO Glenys Oojes welcomed Bidfood’s leadership on this issue. The organisation “has been working closely with Bidfood over the past year to reach this outcome,” said Oojes.
Whilst being welcomed by those who care about animal welfare, many have questioned why it will take a full five years to make this transition during which time there will be much continued cruel and inhumane suffering.
The overwhelming majority of Australians care about the welfare of hens. So it is a major step forward in ending the battery caged practice considering that, according to Oojes, around 60 per cent of eggs produced in Australia are used in the foodservice sector.
Many Australian activists remain sceptical about some of this progress. In some cases so-called “free-range” chickens do not necessarily have much more room than cage chickens. That term is open to much abuse. Some farms have up to 10,000 hens per hectare, whereas others have 1,500 or perhaps 2,500 hens per hectare. These are very different realities. Consumers still need to take care regarding their egg purchases given the financial constraints farmers face to make egg production financially viable.
The ending of battery farming for eggs has moved one step closer. There is still much work to be done to ensure genuine animal welfare for chickens.