Compassion is celebrating after the announcement that one of the UK’s largest catering companies, Westbury Street Holdings, is to switch to using solely RSPCA Freedom Food free-range eggs from 4 October 2010. The caterer supplies food to businesses across London, including Selfridges,Ernst and Young, and IPC Media and comprises of food service companies BaxterStorey, Caterlink and Holroyd Howe.
Steve McIvor, Director of Food Business, Compassion in World Farming, said: “It is very positive to see a company which plays such an important part in feeding the UK population taking the welfare of laying hens so seriously by ensuring that the eggs they serve are free-range. Their move will benefit 27,000 hens per year and we hope to see other companies following from their lead.”
Westbury Street Holdings said their move came after growing consumer concern around animal welfare. “These consumers are the same people who go to work in offices and who study at schools and colleges every day. As the caterer we have a duty to respond to their concerns and provide them with meals that address their -food choices when we are feeding them during the day and where they are not necessarily in control of the ingredients that are put in their lunch,” explains Alastair Storey, CEO, Westbury Street Holdings.
He continued, “We serve 25 million meals a year. Sourcing our free-range eggs from one farm gives the people who dine in the restaurants we manage the confidence to know that we can pinpoint the exact origins and pedigree of the food they are eating. This is a decision that we are proud to announce and it’s a move that will benefit our clients, customers and the UK farming industry.”
Compassion in World Farming continues to work with major caterers in the UK and Europe.