The Environment & Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST) has revealed the results of its first-ever animal welfare benchmark for Taiwanese retailers. The benchmark reveals where Taiwan’s 6 largest retailers stand on phasing out cages from their egg supply chains.
The results were concluded from a field investigation encompassing 63 retail outlets and 261 egg products across Taiwan’s 6 major cities. Retailers were assessed according to 3 key criteria:
- The proportion of eggs on sale that are cage-free.
- A cage-free policy and timeline – which is publicly available – for Taiwan.
- Efforts to enable consumers to identify cage-free eggs.
Deputy CEO of EAST, Yu-Min Chen: “The supply of cage-free eggs in Taiwan is rising dramatically as consumers seek out ethical, sustainable alternatives in the supermarket aisle.” Photo: Freepic
Commitment to cage-free eggs
French hypermarket RT-Mart, which is a subsidiary of Auchan Retail, as well as Carrefour, came out on top of the rankings. RT-Mart sources 37% of its egg products from cage-free farms, and Carrefour sources 32% of its eggs from cage-free farms. Both companies have released cage-free policies with specific timelines in Taiwan. RT-Mart, however, boasts the strongest cage-free policy of all the retailers, committing unequivocally to end all sales that come from caged hens by 2025. RT-Mart and Carrefour were the only retailers to feature in-store education initiatives, while Carrefour was the only retailer to establish designated cage-free zones to help consumers identify eggs that came from caged hens and those that came from non-caged hens.
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Poor performers in cage-free eggs
Rival supermarket chain Simple Mart fared poorly and only 7% of eggs on sale at the discount supermarket chain came from hens kept in cage-free housing. Local Taiwanese brands PX-Mart and Simple Mart were the worst performers overall. Sector leader PX-Mart, which operates over 1,000 stores across Taiwan and last year recorded more than US$ 3 billion in revenue, had the lowest proportion of cage-free eggs on offer at just 4% of egg products. Its corporate social responsibility report made no mention of a cage-free policy or transition timeline. Costco Taiwan was the worst performer among the international hypermarket chains in terms of the categories outlined, and was the only hypermarket surveyed yet to release a time-bound policy for going cage-free in Taiwan.