The RSPCA has today launched a breakthrough nationwide campaign congratulating Australia's biggest hospitality and food retailers for responding to their customers and making the switch to cage-free eggs.
The celebratory ‚ÄòCage Free and Proud‚Äô campaign showcases some of Australia‚Äôs biggest and best-known brands including McDonald‚Äôs, Subway, Grill'd Healthy Burgers, Nando's, Harris Farm Markets, Arnott‚Äôs and IKEA, recognising them as industry leaders who have acted on consumer concerns and stopped sourcing eggs from battery cages.
They‚Äôre joined by national retailers ALDI and Woolworths, which have made the commitment to phase-out cage eggs in store by 2025; and Coles, announcing for the first time this week they will phase-out cage eggs in store completely by 2023.
‚ÄúThe food services industry is absolutely the next frontier in the effort to rid Australia of battery cages,‚Äù said RSPCA Australia Humane Food Manager Hope Bertram.
‚ÄúWhile 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,
‚ÄúThe past five years has seen a significant shift in consumer buying behaviour, with cage-free eggs now leading the market share in the supermarket,‚Äù said RSPCA Australia Humane Food Manager Hope Bertram.
‚ÄúHowever, 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,
‚ÄúThe majority of those cage eggs aren't going into household fridges; they are going into food services ‚Äì such as cafes, restaurants and catering companies- as well as food manufacturing - packet mixes, mayonnaise, biscuits, cakes, and so forth,
‚ÄúAustralians 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 premade and pre-packaged food too,
"The commitment from these major brands shows there is no excuse for the continued use of battery cages,
‚ÄúIf these companies, each using or selling millions of eggs every year, can use affordable cage-free eggs on a large scale, there is no reason others can't too,
"Australians expect animals to be given basic care: to be able to move, to stretch, to socialise, to behave naturally ‚Äì essentially, to have a life worth living,‚Äù said Ms Bertram.
"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 Ms 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.
For more information, visit the campaign website at rspca.org.au/cagefreeproud.
High-resolution photographs, as well as interview audio and vision of RSPCA spokesperson Hope Bertram, is readily available on request.