Distributor Bidfood Australia has announced its commitment to supply cage-free eggs to the foodservice industry.

This commitment will free nearly 380,000 hens from battery cages, said Animals Australia.

Currently, about 11 million hens are confined to cages in Australia. Animals Australia said that Bidfood’s announcement “is a major step towards freeing hens from a life of confinement.”

Animals Australia CEO Glenys Ooje said: “Animals Australia has been working closely with Bidfood over the past year to reach this outcome. With around 60% of eggs produced in Australia being used in the foodservice sector, Bidfood’s commitment is a huge positive for animal welfare.”

Initially, the company will remove caged eggs from its own brand range by 2023, and ultimately eliminate them from its supply chain by 2025.

Bidfood Australia supplies more than 115 million eggs to restaurants, cafes, hospitals, hotels and schools annually.

Bidfood Australia CEO Rachel Ruggiero said: “While many consumers choose to buy cage-free eggs at supermarkets, it is important that they are also able to have confidence that the eggs being served when they dine out are also cage-free.

“Bidfood is the first major Australian foodservice distributor to make a commitment to go cage-free and we now call upon other foodservice distributors, which are continuing to supply cage eggs, to follow Bidfood’s leadership.

“We will be working closely with suppliers and customers over the coming years to reach our outcome of supplying 100% cage-free eggs by 2025.”