Cage free by 2025
In a move that will please ethical eaters, Bidfood Australia has announced that it is phasing out eggs sourced from chickens housed in cages.
Around Australia there are millions of hens that spend their lives in wire cages. These chickens are also referred to as battery hens. Under these conditions the birds don’t have much space to move and can’t scratch about. The decision is in line with the changing demands of Australian shoppers and eaters, more and more of whom are saying ‘’no’’ to caged eggs.
Recent research shows that more than 60% of New South Wales shoppers say they almost never buy eggs from hens living in cages. As more ethically aware young people enter the food buying market, this figure is only set to rise. Therefore, changes need to be made to meet customer expectations.
Bidfood’s CEO Rachel Ruggiero says: “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.”
As the country’s leading foodservice distributor, Bidfood Australia supplies more than 115 million eggs to the foodservice industry each year including restaurants, cafes, hospitals, hotels and schools. Over the coming years Bidfood will be working closely with suppliers and customers to reach the outcome of supplying 100% cage free eggs by 2025. Bidfood’s own range of eggs will be cage free from 2023.
By moving away from caged eggs a massive number of hens will lead better lives. Animal welfare group Animals Australia applauded the move saying:
“Bidfood’s commitment means that around 380,000 hens will be freed from battery cages. With some 11 million hens still confined to cages in Australia, their commitment is a major step towards freeing hens from a life of confinement.”
Glenys Oogjes is the CEO of Animals Australia, head of Australia’s leading animal protection organisation. Their investigations and campaigns are recognised the world over. They unite millions of people who believe in a world where animals are free from cruelty. They have been working closely with Bidfood to reach the cage-free outcome. “With around 60% of eggs produced in Australia being used in the foodservice sector, Bidfood’s commitment is a huge positive for animal welfare,” says Glenys.
“Bidfood’s decision, and similar commitments by many of the food industry’s largest companies, sends a strong signal to the egg industry and State Governments that it’s time battery cages were relegated to history,” says Glenys. Big food retailers such as Woolworths and Coles have also made a commitment to cage free.
“Bidfood is the first major Australian foodservice distributor to make a commitment to go cage free and we now call upon other foodservice distributors, which are continuing to supply cage eggs, to follow Bidfood’s leadership,” says CEO Rachel Ruggiero.