The Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST) yesterday encouraged consumers to support companies taking action to improve animal welfare, after Dairy Farm International Holdings, parent company of IKEA Taiwan, last week vowed to switch to cage-free eggs for its restaurants in Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Dairy Farm would introduce cage-free eggs to all 10 of its IKEA restaurants in Taiwan and Hong Kong by the end of next year, and is working with local and international suppliers to meet the goal, it said in a news release on Friday.
The company is also launching a new value range of cage-free eggs under its Meadows Brand in Hong Kong and Singapore, where the eggs would be sold at supermarkets and hypermarkets from the second quarter of next year without big price jumps, it said.
Photo: Hung Mei-hsiu, Taipei Times
“As a responsible retailer, we are actively looking to support suppliers who want to make the shift to cage-free, and to making sure our suppliers understand and recognized [sic] the appropriate certified cage free-standards,” the firm said.
EAST, which has long advocated cage-free eggs, yesterday welcomed the company’s announcement.
IKEA joins leading hypermarket chains in Taiwan, including Carrefour, RT-Mart International and City’super supermarket, in committing to sell cage-free eggs, which reflects increasing consumer sensitivity toward animal welfare, food safety and corporate social responsibility, the group said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us of the need to re-evaluate our relationship with animals and move away from cruel, intensive production systems that force animals to live in suffering and distress,” EAST deputy chief executive Chen Yu-min (陳玉敏) said.
The group also welcomed the furniture giant’s move to launch plant-based versions of its meatballs.
Since Carrefour started promoting cage-free eggs in 2018, the number of its egg items has increased from 14 in 2018 to 24 this year, showing such products are accepted by more consumers, Carrefour Taiwan public relations manager Matthew Chang (張君鴻) said yesterday.
Last year, Carrefour Taiwan started selling tea eggs sourced from cage-free hens, as well as its own brand of cage-free eggs, he said.
Its annual sales of cage-free eggs have increased 10 to 20 percent, he said, adding that Carrefour Taiwan operates 65 hypermarkets and 66 smaller supermarkets.
Due to the change in demand, some of Carrefour’s major suppliers have been encouraging their partner egg farmers to transition to animal-friendly methods, Chang said.
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