Cage-free farming on the rise in India
Cage-free farming in India was recently discussed at an event held at Calcutta’s Park Hotel, one of the first hotels in the city to go cage-free.
Attendees included chefs, poultry farmers, food critics, consumers, and journalists. By the end of the day, at least three hotels switched to cage-free eggs and began placing orders with local cage-free farmers. Other hotels and a number of chefs expressed great enthusiasm about switching, saying that as more consumers heard about what they had learned, all major restaurants and markets would have to supply cage-free eggs.
The event offered an opportunity for chefs and farmers to link up with sources, also farmers who were still on the fence about switching to cage-free could see firsthand the rising demand from hotels, restaurants, and everyday consumers. Meanwhile, already cage-free producers agreed to work toward increasing supply.
Dr. Naisargi Dave from the University of Toronto cited research showing that even the smallest increase in consumer knowledge about the conditions of hens leads to increases in demand for cage-free eggs. Finally, Chef Sharad Dewan of Park Hotels said that he had committed to cage-free eggs and was confident that profitability would naturally follow. It is obvious to him, he said, that the trend is toward humane food, health, and wellness, and that consumers understand that hens produce better products when they’re living healthier lives.
Calcutta has been something of an experiment site, to see if and how this collaboration between chefs and farmers and food enthusiasts, all moving toward cage-free eggs and away from battery cages, would work.
Source: Humane Society International
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