SEA: Growing interest in cage free egg production

10-10-2018 | | |
Photo: Bart Nijs
Photo: Bart Nijs

Dozens of farmers from across South East Asia (SEA) have attended the region’s first dedicated workshop on cage free egg production.

Organised by the Indonesian Veterinary Medical Association and Humane Society International, the event in Surabaya brought together food industry leaders, technical specialists, egg producers, academics and poultry equipment manufacturers to share experiences and provide technical advice.

Speakers included poultry housing and design expert Jasper Heerkens, representatives from HIS, international food supplier Sodexo, poultry breeding company Lohmann Tierzucht, poultry equipment supplier Big Dutchman, certification body Humane Farm Animal Care, Indonesia-based hospitality company Potato Head Family and 80 egg producers from Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.

Topics on the agenda included global and South East Asia market trends for cage-free products, the scientific basis for cage-free egg production, the standards and criteria required for animal welfare certification, cage free corporate social responsibility procurement policies and advice on the successful management of cage-free layer flocks.

Dawn Neo, HSI’s corporate outreach manager for farm animals in Asia, said she was delighted with the positive responses received from the workshop: “We want to ensure that egg producers and companies in Southeast Asia have the tools and resources necessary to successfully ensure a cage-free future for laying hens.”

In recent years, animal welfare has been going up the agenda in the region as part of a major shift towards more ethical sourcing of animal productions. Multinational companies with operations in Asia, such as Accor Hotels, Compass Group, Sodexo and Unilever are joined by Asian leaders such as Carrefour Taiwan, Grand Hyatt Singapore, Andaz Singapore, Salad Stop!, the Prive group and the Lo and Behold Group in committing to 100% cage-free egg supply chains.

And as food and hospitality leaders around the world adopt cage-free egg policies, egg producers are transitioning to higher welfare animal production systems to meet the growing demand in the region. This includes major companies such as Charoen Pokphand Foods, Betagro of Thailand, San Miguel Corporation and Bounty Fresh of the Philippines.

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Tony Mcdougal Freelance Journalist