Today, the Casual Dining Group (CDG), whose brands include Bella Italia, Café Rouge and Las Iguanas, has announced it is to source 100% free range whole and ingredient eggs by 2025.
Currently all whole eggs sourced by the company and some used as ingredients in sauces and pasta are already free range, and working in partnership with Compassion, CDG will transition the remainder of eggs used as ingredients to free range systems, which they will endeavour to achieve well ahead of the 2025 target.
Compassion commends CDG for making the move to entirely free range eggs for both whole and ingredient eggs. Free range systems have a much higher welfare potential, allowing the hens to roam freely outdoors and express their natural behaviours such as running, wing flapping, perching, foraging and dust bathing.
Tim Doubleday, CDG's Chief Financial Officer, commented: "We are pleased to announce this exciting partnership, which will see us move to entirely free range egg sourcing, and we are grateful to Compassion in World Farming for their support and wise counsel as we journey through this transition."
Philip Lymbery, CEO of Compassion in World Farming said: “The announcement by Casual Dining Group to be 100% free range on their eggs by 2025 is hugely welcomed by Compassion. It is wonderful to see well-loved brands such as Bella Italia, Café Rouge and Las Iguanas taking a clear step towards a cage free future.
CDG’s decision to go free range on both their whole egg and egg ingredient supply, across all of their brands, shows the depth of their commitment. This announcement will surely be a catalyst for further change across the restaurant industry.”
CDG’s pledge comes shortly after Sodexo’s worldwide commitment to cage-free eggs and the plethora of similar announcements made by leading UK retailers in the past few weeks.
The speed with which these cage-free announcements are being made really demonstrates the power of the market when forward thinking brands lead the way and act as a catalyst for change.
We anticipate further announcements in the food service sector as both the weight of consumer expectation and the nature of supply continues to shift. It is surely the beginning of the end for caged eggs on the UK high street.