友善雞蛋

Just lip service? Iconic Taiwanese xiaolongbao chain Din Tai Fung refuses to end its use of cruel cage eggs


What is your impression of Din Tai Fung? Premium ingredients, impeccable service, and attention to detail, perhaps—should you go by the chain’s famed reputation.
 

But, does highly-acclaimed Din Tai Fung live up to its reputation when it comes to the food that it serves to its customers?
 

At Din Tai Fung—the first restaurant from Taiwan to win a Michelin Star—a plate of fried rice can cost as much as TWD $290. CEO Warren Yang once declared  “Restaurants should not sell food just to make a profit; one can only imagine the [poor] quality of ingredients used in a TWD $100 stir-fry,” boasting of the chain’s commitment to high quality ingredients. However, despite its hefty prices, Din Tai Fung’s restaurants continue to serve cheap eggs from hens crammed in tiny, unsanitary cages, flying in the face of the chain’s public reputation.
 

Since its inception as a single store selling xiaolongbao on Taipei’s Xinyi Road, Din Tai Fung has been dutifully supported by its Taiwanese customers. The company now has an annual revenue of more than TWD $3 billion in Taiwan alone, and is one of Taiwan’s most influential brands. However, on its road to international success, it seems that Din Tai Fung has forgotten where it came from. When Din Tai Fung opened its first European store in London last year, it made sure to source 100% free range eggs for its UK customers. Meanwhile, loyal customers in Taiwan continue to be served cheap, cage eggs.

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A traditional Taiwanese open-shed battery cage facility. Each hen must live their entire lives in a cage roughly the size of an A4 sheet of paper. Hens kept in battery cages are crammed in so tightly that they regularly trample on other hens, and they are completely deprived of the ability to engage in their natural behaviors, including dust bathing, perching, and finding a private place to lay. Raising hens in conventional battery cages has been banned in the European Union since January 1, 2012., while New Zealand, Canada, and a succession of US states have since followed suit in phasing out this cruel and outdated practice.   (Photo credit: We Animals / EAST)

 

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Hens living in battery cages are treated as machines, with their most basic needs disregarded in the name of increased productivity. In addition to severely compromising the welfare of the hens, battery cage systems have been the source of many recent food safety scandals in Taiwan, including outbreaks of fipronil-tainted eggs. (Photo credit: EAST)


​On cage egg farms hens live their entire lives in the space of an A4 sheet of paper. They are packed so tightly that they are regularly trampled on by other hens. The barren cage environment deprives hens of the ability to engage in their most important natural behaviors, including dust bathing, perching, and finding a private place to lay. On its website Din Tai Fung trumpets its use of traceable CAS-certified eggs. However, Din Tai Fung fails to mention that eggs used in its fried rice, xiaolongbao wrappers, and noodles come almost entirely from hens suffering in tiny, metal cages. 

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Regardless of whether a farm is an open-shed or closed-shed facility, all cage systems are inherently cruel. Cage systems are intensive systems, and barely afford hens the ability to spread their wings or even turn around. (Photo credit: EAST)

 

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Conventional battery cages fail to provide amenities for hens to fulfil their most basic instinctual behaviors, such as nesting boxes, perches, or scratch pads, causing severe distress and deprivation.  (Photo credit: EAST)

 


The Environment & Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST) has been in communication with Din Tai Fung since January last year, in the hope that Din Tai Fung would live up to its philosophy  “Quality is the lifeblood of the business” and commit to phasing out its use of cage eggs within a reasonable timeframe. Throughout this process, EAST continually emphasized that we are not seeking an overnight transition, and would be glad to assist Din Tai Fung through this transition.  
 

EAST is disappointed that Din Tai Fung has failed to seize the opportunity to uphold its reputation, and has refused to commit to providing Taiwanese customers with 100% cage-free eggs. After a year and a half of stalling, Din Tai Fung has only committed to using cage-free eggs in a single dish, and “possibly” in other dishes “depending on the situation,” citing cost considerations and product testing.
 

The shift to cage-free is already a global movement. The European Union outlawed the use of battery cages in 2012, while New Zealand, Canada, and a succession of US states have since followed suit in phasing out this cruel and outdated practice. Around the world, more than 300 major food companies have committed to ending their use of cage eggs, including industry giants Nestlé, PepsiCo, & Kellogg’s. In the US, even low-cost restaurant chains such as McDonald’s and Burger King have joined the cause.

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The shift to cage-free is already a global movement. Around the world, more than 300 major food companies have committed to ending their use of cage eggs, including industry giants Nestlé, Unilever, and PepsiCo. In the US, even low-cost restaurant chains such as McDonald’s and Burger King have joined the cause and committed to ending the use of cage eggs. (Photo credit: EAST)

 

​Din Tai Fung likes to promote itself as a company that values high quality ingredients and the opinions of its customers. However, by refusing to commit to a timeline to end the use of cruel cage eggs, Din Tai Fung is falling well short of its own standards. Today, EAST will launch a wide-ranging campaign to inform consumers of Din Tai Fung’s failure to act on this pressing animal welfare and food safety issue.

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Please call on Din Tai Fung to commit to ending the use of cruel cage eggs:

  1. Write a polite message using Din Tai Fung’s online contact form: https://bit.ly/2Z2GS7q  

  2. Call your nearest store and ask the staff member to pass your message to the store manager:

 

Xinyi Branch:

+886-2-2321-8928

Fuxing Branch:

+886-2-8772-0528

Tienmu Branch:

+886-2-2833-8900

Taipei 101 Branch:

+886-2-8101-7799

Nanxi Branch:

+886-2-2511-1555

A4 Branch:

+886-2-2345-2528

Banqiao Branch:

+886-2-8951-2222

Hsinchu Branch:

+886-3-523-6222

Taichung Branch:

+886-4-2321-8928

Kaohsiung Branch:

+886-7-55-33312 

International locations: www.dintaifung.com.tw/eng/store.php (select a country from the menu)

 

社團法人台灣動物社會研究會 All rights reserved by EAST 立案證號:台內社字第八九〇九四〇〇號 法人登記證號:105證他字第232號 (02)22369735~6 eastfree@east.org.tw 台北市中正區羅斯福路四段162號3樓之4 劃撥帳號:19461051 戶名:社團法人台灣動物社會研究會 網站協力:拾穗者文化