Taiwanese supermarket, Carrefour Taiwan, has announced plans to sell only cage-free eggs by 2025 under its own brand as part of its “Friendly Egg Promise.” The supermarket is not only the first in Taiwan to undertake this commitment but the first in Asia. The decision came in response to encouragement from animal rights groups.
The process will begin this year, Carrefour revealed on its Facebook page, setting up special areas in its stores that promote cage-free eggs. Next year, the chain will launch a house brand egg range from chickens that have been fed in a non-caged environment. And by 2025, the chain will have fully adopted non-cage breeding. It will also be working with the country’s egg farmers and suppliers to encourage them to farm free-range eggs. Other Carrefour stores in Europe have already committed to cage-free eggs, by the same deadline, 2025.
In April, the Humane Society International (HSI) held Asia’s first-ever corporate animal-welfare roundtable, and cage-free eggs were firmly on the agenda. The animal rights organization brought together food industry leaders, restaurants, and hospitality companies to encourage them to consider higher animal welfare standards.
“We’re thrilled to host Indonesia’s first corporate animal welfare roundtable and bring together forward-thinking companies that are committed to higher animal welfare standards in their supply chains,” Dawn Neo, HSI’s corporate outreach manager for farm animals, said in a statement at the time. “We want to help ensure that companies have all of the tools and resources they need to make a cage-free future for laying hens a reality.”
Sodexo, one of the biggest food service companies in the world, has an existing commitment to cage-free eggs in Indonesia and elsewhere around the globe. “As a company that provides Quality of Life services to millions every day, we aspire to create a better tomorrow for everyone,” said Roshith Rajan, director of corporate responsibility for Sodexo Asia Pacific.
Around the world, people are waking up to welfare issues within the egg industry. Roughly ninety-five percent of eggs come from battery farms, where hens are kept in small cages, unable to spread their wings. The cages are often stacked on top of one another. Carrefour Taiwan’s commitment to cage-free eggs will prevent as many chickens from living in these conditions. In the UK, Noble Foods, the country’s largest egg producer, committed to going cage-free by 2025, after an undercover investigation revealed a breach of animal welfare laws.