Sat, Jun 08, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Group campaigning to stop Din Tai Fung from using factory-farmed eggs

By Chien Hui-ju and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

An animal welfare group has launched an e-mail and telephone campaign to stop famed restaurant chain Din Tai Fung from using eggs hatched in allegedly cruel conditions.

Din Tai Fung uses factory-farmed eggs for a fried rice dish priced at NT$290 (US$9.23) per plate, Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan deputy chief executive Chen Yu-min (陳玉敏) said on Wednesday.

Factory farms put hatching hens in small cages with a floor space about the size of an A4 piece of paper, which is contrary to chicken’s natural instincts to groom, range and nest at high places, resulting in unnecessary suffering, Chen said.

“Din Tai Fung’s business decision each day condemns thousands of hens to live in crowded cages to endure miserable conditions as living, egg-laying machines,” she said.

The decision to use factory-farmed eggs is odd when the company makes about NT$2 billion annually and its venue in London has exclusively used cage-free eggs since last year, Chen said.

That the company treats Taiwanese and British consumers differently is discriminatory, she said, adding that society had only made the reasonable demand for the franchise to make a commitment to phase out factory-farmed eggs.

For the past year, Din Tai Fung has only given vague responses when asked about the practice, saying it has to take costs into consideration, conduct test menus or weigh market acceptance, which are delaying tactics, she said.

“For a brand that prides itself on quality, Din Tai Fung’s unwillingness to set policy goalposts for transitioning to cage-free eggs as we have requested is disappointing,” she said.

“Consumers should write or call to press the franchise to source its eggs from humane farms,” she said.

Din Tai Fung issued a press release on Thursday, saying the media have used images of factory farms that do not reflect the conditions of Fu Yuan poultry farm, its supplier, which is certified for quality and using climate-controlled, lighted and aerated cages.

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