Australian Restaurant Chain Goes Cage-Free, Egg Industry 'Disappointed'

AUSTRALIA - Fast food outlet Hungry Jack’s announced yesterday that it will cease using eggs from caged hens in its products immediately.
calendar icon 23 August 2016
clock icon 3 minute read

The move follows a trend of cage-free announcements from retailers and food service providers in the US and the UK. Aldi Australia already announced a move to phase out eggs from caged hens in its supply chain, along with Coles and Woolworths.

Industry levy board the Australian Egg Corporation Limited (AECL) said it is disappointed with the announcement.

AECL questioned whether the restaurant chain had considered scientific evidence properly before reaching the decision, and added that more than half of all Australians still choose to buy cage eggs due to affordability.

“Today’s decision by Hungry Jack’s is driven by emotion and perception, not science or reality,” AECL Managing Director James Kellaway said.

The organisation said all egg farming systems have both advantages and disadvantages.

“The key to good welfare outcomes for hens is good farm management and we know that on well managed farms, there’s no real variation in hen stress levels across cage, barn and free range egg farming systems,” Mr Kellaway said.

“It is disappointing that science and reality has taken a back seat today and that Hungry Jack’s is applying an arbitrary standard which many, if not most, of its customers see no reason to apply when they buy their eggs at the grocery store.”

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