Woolworths has become the first African retailer to receive Compassion’s Good Egg Award for its ongoing commitment to leading the free-range egg industry in South Africa. The award is another significant accolade for the Woolworths Good Business Journey, which includes a long-term commitment to animal welfare and free-range farming.
In response to customer concerns, Woolworths was South Africa’s first retailer to make the switch to selling exclusively free-range eggs in cartons and still remains the only retailer after nearly a decade.
The company is also well on its way to banishing caged egg ingredient from its manufactured products. In 2011, one of the retailer’s main egg suppliers invested R20 million in a new specialised facility and farm, the first of its kind in the country, dedicated to producing pasteurised liquid egg (used in food products) from free-range eggs. Currently over 75% of Woolworths food products containing egg as an ingredient are made with free-range eggs, and this percentage continues to rise each year.
Commenting on Woolworths award, Compassion CEO Philip Lymbery said, “I am so pleased to be able to congratulate Woolworths in this way. Farm animal welfare is rising up the agenda across the world, and with this award we’re recognising the leading role Woolworths is playing in Africa to secure better conditions for laying hens. The Good Egg Award is a sign to its customers that their animal welfare concerns are taken seriously and the nearly half a million hens that produce their eggs are raised to higher welfare standards.”
Zyda Rylands, Woolworths Managing Director of Food said, “We are very proud because this award recognises our commitment to animal welfare and ethical sourcing. Our work with free-range eggs, informed by ongoing consultation and engagement with animal welfare organisations, is only one aspect of the Woolworths Good Business Journey.
“Animal welfare remains a key area of concern for both Woolworths and our customers and we are committed to constantly improving all aspects of animal health and welfare including livestock management and husbandry, housing, animal feed, farm hygiene, environment and transport. For instance, Woolworths is also actively working on wildlife-friendly farming and more humane pig farming.”
National TV broadcast on Express Show (South Africa)