The RSPCA has launched a nationwide campaign that focuses on Australia’s largest hospitality and food retailers who have switched to cage-free eggs.
The celebratory ‘Cage Free and Proud’ campaign recognises brands such as McDonald’s, Subway, Grill’d Healthy Burgers, Nando’s, Harris Farm Markets, Arnott’s and IKEA, as industry leaders who have acted on consumer concerns and stopped sourcing eggs from battery cages.
They’re joined by national retailers ALDI and Woolworths, which have made the commitment to phase-out cage eggs in store by 2025, and Coles, which will phase-out cage eggs in store by 2023.
RSPCA Australia humane food manager Hope Bertram said the food services industry is the next frontier in the effort to rid Australia of battery cages.
“While the cage egg industry and legislation lags behind, Cage Free and Proud is about positively recognising those businesses that have made the right decision by their customers and are helping free smart, social, egg laying hens from cruel battery cages,” said Bertram.
“The past five years has seen a significant shift in consumer buying behaviour, with cage-free eggs now leading the market share in the supermarket,” she said.
“However, there are still more than 10 million hens whose entire lives are spent in a barren wire cage, with space around the size of an iPad.
“The majority of those cage eggs aren’t going into household fridges; they are going into food services – such as cafes, restaurants and catering companies- as well as food manufacturing – packet mixes, mayonnaise, biscuits, cakes, and so forth,” said Bertram.
“Australians have voted with their wallets when it comes to buying cage-free cartons at the supermarket, and they want cage-free when dining out and buying premadeand pre-packaged food too.
“The commitment from these major brands shows there is no excuse for the continued use of battery cages,” she said.
“The future of egg production is definitely cage free. Through this campaign and beyond, we expect to see many more brands make the switch to cage-free eggs so they can also be Cage Free and Proud,” said Bertram.
The Cage Free and Proud campaign will be supported by a nationwide advertising and public relations campaign that includes print, outdoor, radio, television and digital advertising as well as communications activities.