Alligator Brand Fresh Pasta, Coles Brand Eggs and IKEA Australia are among the high-profile brands recognised for their industry-leading decision to source cage-free eggs, at a ceremony held by the RSPCA in Sydney today.

Held today for the third year in Australia, The Good Egg Awards acknowledge major companies that have made the switch to cage-free eggs in their products and services.

Coles Brand Eggs was a winner in the retail category, for switching to cage-free eggs only in a decision that will improve the lives of over 350,000 hens each year.

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 Ms Healing.

Alligator Brand Fresh Pasta was a winner in the manufacturing category, recognised for their long-term commitment to using only cage-free eggs (around 20,800 a year) in their popular range of products.

Spokesperson Amanda Beckett said, “Alligator Brand Pasta is delighted to accept a Good Egg Award for 2013,”

“We are proud to be associated with such a great organisation and we will continue to make a difference in our manufacturing by using free range products wherever possible,

“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!,”

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 popular cafes.

Finally, while the Good Egg Awards are aimed at large-scale egg users, several smaller organisations have also been recognised for showing leadership in their own sector.

These include Flinders University, Byron Shire Council and The Cupcake Room in Sydney.

RSPCA Australia CEO Heather Neil said, “The commitment shown by these companies and businesses to help improve animal welfare will save many Australian hens from a life of cruel confinement,”

“Together, this commitment from Coles Brand Eggs and Alligator Brand Fresh pasta will see over 105 million eggs sourced from over 350,000 cage-free hens in Australia each year, and we’re excited to work with IKEA on their future plans as well,.

“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 it’s possible and feasible in a business sense to make more humane choices in the supply chain,” said Ms Neil.

“These companies have helped to improve the welfare of hens and made it easier for consumers to look for higher welfare products when shopping.

“We congratulate all businesses and companies who were awarded and recognised today, and look forward to working with more Australian organisations making the switch to cage-free,” said Ms Neil.

The Good Award is presented in Australia by the RSPCA in partnership with Compassion in World Farming.

To find out more, visit www.rspca.org.au/good-egg.

Spokespeople are available for interview and photos on request.

Media contact: Elise Meakin, 0419 748 907, emeakin@rspca.org.au