Retailers and food manufacturers making an effort to source cage-free eggs were praised this morning at the RSPCA's Good Egg Awards.
Alligator Brand Fresh Pasta was a winner in the awards' manufacturing category, recognised for its long-term commitment to using only cage-free eggs.
Spokesperson for Alligator Pasta, Amanda Beckett, said "We use over 25 tonnes of free range egg pulp for our production each year, so it is important to us that we do this in the most humane way possible. And of course using free range eggs means we produce delicious pasta."
Coles Brand Eggs were praised in the retail category, recognised for its efforts to switch to cage-free eggs – which has been a three year long process.
General manager of responsible sourcing, quality and technology, Jackie Healing, said "Coles is delighted to receive this award in recognition of the work we have done with our Coles Brand Eggs.
"This has always been about responding to our customers’ wishes for great value eggs that are not produced in a cage environment.
"We would like to recognise and thank our suppliers who supported us on this journey which has been so good for customers, for farmers and especially for the hens," said Healing.
Today's Good Egg Awards also delivered a Commendation to IKEA Australia which has made the commitment to commence sourcing only cage-free eggs for use in its cafes.
Special mentions also went to Flinders University, Byron Shire Council and The Cupcake Room for showing leadership in their industries.
RSPCA Australia CEO, Heather Neil, said "Importantly, these moves by major brands demonstrate that not only are Australian consumers demanding higher welfare products and becoming more interested in where and how their food is produced and sourced
"But they also show its possible and feasible in a business sense to make more humane choices in the supply chain," she said.
"These companies have helped to improve the welfare of hens and made it easier for consumers to look for higher welfare products when shopping."
The awards presentation was preceded by the 2013 Great Cage Free Cook-Off, where four journalists from the food industry (including yours truly!) whipped up an omelette using cage-free eggs and a variety of other ingredients. Photos are on their way….