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Carrefour Taiwan launches Asia's first private label cage-free egg line

On November 21, Carrefour Taiwan officially launched the first line of private label cage-free eggs from an Asian retailer at its Neihu Store in Taipei’s north.

3 December 2019, at 2:58pm

As part of the launch, one Taiwanese dollar from every box sold will be donated to promote the welfare of farm animals, with proceeds going to the Environment & Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST).

Members of the Open Wing Alliance (OWA) representing 17 animal protection organisations from Asia, the United States, and Europe attended the press conference to show support for Carrefour Taiwan’s bold commitment to improving the lives of consumers and animals. Global Corporate Relations Co-ordinator for the Open Wing Alliance, Amy Odene, Carrefour Taiwan Director of CSR and Communications, Marilyn Su, Council of Agriculture Poultry Division Section Chief Yi-Chain Lee, and EAST Executive Director, Wu Hung, were all present to witness the ground-breaking launch ceremony.

Putting values into action

When customers open the carton of Carrefour’s cage-free private label eggs, they will be greeted by a heartfelt message from Fei Fei the hen:

I am Fei Fei. Thank you for allowing me to fly again! There are 37 million laying hens like me in Taiwan, with the vast majority still trapped in tiny cages the size of an A4 sheet of paper. In battery cages we will never feel the ground beneath our feet, or extend our wings to preen our feathers. We have been put in cramped cages where we cannot engage in any of our natural behaviors, and are destined to live a life of fear and distress. As you purchase this box of barn-laid eggs, you are not only opening up my cage, but also happiness and health for you and your loved ones. Thank you!

“Every hen that lays eggs for humans is a sentient creature. These animals have complex emotions and a strong desire to exhibit their natural behaviors, including laying in a private nesting place, dust bathing, perching, scratching, foraging, and many others” said Carrefour Taiwan Director of CSR and Communications, Marilyn Su. “When I saw firsthand the rich and active lives of hens on cage-free farms, it was clear to me the role retailers must play in the food transition.”

Ms Su added: “As a large international retailer, Carrefour is constantly thinking about how it can exercise corporate social responsibility to make Taiwan a better, more beautiful place because of our presence. Through our partnership with EAST, we have come to realise that we can only provide safe, worry-free eggs to consumers if we treat hens well. In the past year we have visited countless egg farms across Taiwan, and have partnered with Maoyong and Quanxin farms for the launch of our cage-free private label egg line. We invite other cage-free farmers that uphold high animal welfare standards to contact Carrefour and the Cage Free Alliance to discuss future collaboration.”

Wu Hung, Executive Director of EAST, stated: “Over the past 30 years the international community has gradually come to value the welfare of farmed animals. The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has worked with scientists to devise animal welfare standards for farmed animals and called on the world’s governments to establish regulations and laws to put these into practice. In recent years the cage-free movement has made huge strides around the globe, with the European Union leading the way by banning battery cages from 2012, and other countries following suit in promoting barn and free range production systems.”

“Ever since we partnered with Carrefour to promote the food transition, we have witnessed the power companies hold to make the world a better place. We call on other food companies to join Carrefour in demonstrating their concern for animal welfare, sustainability, and the health of consumers,” he added.

The food transition starts with eggs Carrefour Taiwan publicly announced its four-step commitment to going cage-free in May 2018.

Carrefour completed the first stage of its commitment in late 2018, establishing cage-free zones in all of its stores nationwide and switching to cage-free eggs for its tea eggs and prepared food range. This year Carrefour’s efforts transcended international borders as it joined forces with Matcha Prince - an official representative of Uji, Kyoto - to launch Taiwan’s first egg rolls to make use of cage-free eggs.

Today, Carrefour is proud to fulfil the second stage of its cage-free commitment by launching its line of private label cage-free eggs.

Over the past year Carrefour Taiwan has thrown its full support behind the cage-free movement.

Aside from establishing cage-free zones and increasing the number of cage-free eggs on sale, Carrefour has also travelled far and wide to educate consumers and promote the uptake of cage-free eggs.

Carrefour currently stocks 24 cage-free egg SKUs in Taiwan, and the market share has already risen to 17 percent, giving Carrefour confidence for the launch of its free range Carrefour Quality Line eggs next year.

Carrefour hopes to use action to prove to Taiwanese consumers that when it comes to the food transition, it isn’t cutting any corners. Whether its Carrefour customers or egg laying hens, Carrefour aims to help everyone live their best life.

Committed to increasing consumer awareness Last month Carrefour conducted a survey of almost 1,000 consumers. The results showed that nearly 80 percent of Taiwanese consumers care about the production system of the eggs they buy, and almost nine in ten are concerned about antibiotics use, antibiotic residues, and unhygienic rearing environments.

However, it is currently very difficult for consumers to know the reality behind the eggs they buy.

Carrefour begun promoting cage-free eggs in 2018, and has partnered with EAST to increase consumers’ understanding of egg products and improve the availability of cage-free eggs. Carrefour hopes to break through the lack of transparency in existing egg supply chains. This is the reason

Carrefour has chosen to partner with Cage Free Alliance-certified farmers for the launch of its private label cage-free egg line, in an effort to transform the consumer market.

Providing a guarantee for consumers The Cage Free Alliance (CFA) was established by EAST to guide cage-free farmers and provide assurance to consumers about the eggs that they buy. The certification scheme provides free-of-charge auditing services to barn, free range, and organic farms across Taiwan using the CFA Welfare Standards for Laying Hens which is based off international standards and was developed in consultation with domestic academics and farmers. The comprehensive standards encompass biosecurity, husbandry management, facilities, and the physiological and behavioural needs of laying hens. The CFA employs professional auditors to conduct regular and unscheduled farm audits.

Currently all CFA members are 100 percent barn or free range farmers. Members abide by the CFA’s high animal welfare standards and must submit themselves to regular and unscheduled audits by CFA staff.

From farm to table, the production process is transparent and traceable, providing peace of mind for consumers.

Carrefour’s Four-Step Commitment

  1. By the end of 2018, Carrefour Taiwan will establish cage-free zones in all of its stores nationwide
  2. By the end of 2019, Carrefour Taiwan will release a line of cage-free private label eggs
  3. By the end of 2020, Carrefour Taiwan will source 100 percent free range eggs for shell eggs soldmunder its Carrefour Quality Line
  4. By the end of 2025, Carrefour Taiwan will source 100 percent cage-free eggs for its private label eggs and work with producers, suppliers, customers, and NGOs with an aim to expanding this to all eggs sold in Carrefour stores