Some of Britain's best known companies received a Good Egg Award for committing to ditch the battery cage egg in favour of eggs from free-range, organic or barn kept hens.
Penelope Keith, patron of Compassion in World Farming, Rosie Boycott, Chair of London Food and TV presenter Charlotte Uhlenbroek presented thirty four winners - including the BBC, Channel 4, Debenhams, John Lewis, Little Chef, Fox's Biscuits, Starbucks Coffee Company UK, Virgin Trains and Walkers Shortbread - with this prominent and highly respected international award.
Now in its third year, The Good Egg Awards have been developed by Compassion in World Farming to celebrate companies that have committed to freeing millions of hens from a life of suffering in battery cages.
Last month at celebrations in the Eiffel Tower, 70 European companies from 17 other countries including France, Italy, Germany, Czech Republic and Hungary also received their Compassion in World Farming Good Egg Awards. The 2009 UK and European Good Egg Award winners combined currently use more than one billion eggs each year in their products, restaurants or staff catering. The policies of Good Egg Awards winners have so far freed over 20 million hens from life in a cage.
Penelope Keith says: "I congratulate all the companies that are going cage-free on their eggs and hope consumers will, too. A cage-free egg costs just a couple of pennies more and it saves hens a life of misery."
Compassion in World Farming's Chief Executive, Philip Lymbery said: "Our spread of winners this year really demonstrates that the European food industry is taking this issue seriously. We've got companies from all sectors making a move to cage-free eggs, including the catering operations of public bodies, hospitals and universities. They are clearly responding to what they think consumers want and are doing what's best for the future of their business."
The growing consumer trend for more ethically produced eggs means that the food industry has a clear opportunity to lead the way in animal welfare standards, ahead of the 2012 ban on barren battery cages. But the ban will still allow 'enriched cages', which will continue to compromise laying hen welfare.
We believe that farm animals should not and need not suffer.
If you agree, please support us today. Getting companies to switch to cage-free eggs is just one of the things that our supporters have helped us achieve so far. Your donation could help end all forms of farm animal cruelty and help us stop factory farming in its tracks.
We receive no government funding so rely entirely on the generosity of our supporters to prevent cruelty to farm animals all over the world.
Ways you can affect how laying hens are farmed: