The burgeoning cage-free movement in Asia has welcomed news that IKEA Taiwan will go cage-free by 2021.
The landmark commitment was announced in a press release by IKEA Taiwan's parent company Dairy Farm International, and commits IKEA to sourcing only cage-free eggs for its restaurants in Taiwan and Hong Kong by 2021. According to the release, Dairy Farm International's cage-free pledges will together affect the lives of more than 600,000 hens. The announcement coincided with World Egg Day, following discussions with Humane Society International.
IKEA currently operates six locations in Taiwan, and its Taiwan restaurants are among its most popular worldwide. Restaurant sales accounted for 12% of IKEA Taiwan's total revenue in 2019—more than any other IKEA market—with one third of customers visiting IKEA stores exclusively to eat.
"As a responsible retailer we are actively looking to support the suppliers who want to make the shift to cage free, and to making sure our suppliers understand and recognized the appropriate certified cage free standards." Dairy Farm International stated in the release. "We are committed to building long term supplier partnerships, as the industry looks to evolve to support higher standards of animal welfare and more cage free supply."
Yu-Min Chen, Deputy Chief Executive of EAST, praised the commitment, encouraging consumers to show support for companies that take action to improve animal welfare. "The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us of the need to revaluate our relationship with animals, and move away from cruel, intensive production systems that force animals to live in suffering and distress."
Earlier this year, public health specialist, neurologist, and former Commander in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, Dr. Aysha Akhtar, advised "Although it's too late to prevent the current pandemic, perhaps we can prevent another one if we take a moment to look at how most new infectious diseases arrive on our doorstep in the first place," warning "we have to face the inevitable and uncomfortable truth: the real culprit is how we choose to relate with and treat animals."
IKEA joins leading food companies in Taiwan including Carrefour, RT-Mart, and city'super in making a public commitment to source only cage-free eggs, reflecting increasing consumer expectations towards animal welfare, food safety, and corporate social responsibility.
The furniture giant also recently launched plant-based versions of its iconic Swedish meatballs as part of its sustainability efforts.
"We are thrilled to see IKEA join the ranks of other leading food companies and commit to making better choices for animals and their customers in Taiwan," said Ms. Chen.
Dairy Farm International's updated cage-free policy will also see the group's retailers launch a new range of private label cage-free eggs in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Yu-Min Chen, Deputy Chief Executive
Environment & Animal Society of Taiwan (EAST)
Mobile: 0910 150 908
Phone: 02 22369735