Carrefour drops eggs from caged hens from its shelves

Carrefour Supermarket

What you need to know:

  • Globally, food companies have committed to café-free eggs production and higher animal welfare-friendly farming practices throughout the supply chain

Supermarkets chain Carrefour will only sell eggs produced under ‘humane’ conditions in a standards policy shift that will lock out supplies from thousands of poultry farmers in East Africa.

Carrefour’s parent firm, Dubai-based Majid Al Futtaim, says it will source cage-free eggs for its Carrefour supermarkets from suppliers who adhere to a new policy adopted by the global chain store to push for better animal welfare and drive healthy consumption for its customers.
Kevin Macharia, Majid Al Futtaim’s head of marketing and communications East Africa, said suppliers in the region will be made to meet the high standards set.

“We will be putting in place audits to see if the policy is being implemented and if they need assistance because we understand it is a process,” Mr Macharia said.

Majid Al Futtaim signed the Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Policy under The Humane League, which commits companies to promote alternative and sustainable housing systems, such as cage-free, outdoor access, free-range systems and organic feeds.

“Under our long-held commitment to leading in all the markets in which we operate, Majid Al Futtaim Retail is proud to provide its customers with products that comply with the highest quality and safety standards, and that have been produced by socially and environmentally responsible means,” Majid Al Futtaim Retail added in a statement.

The policy will be adopted gradually before the target in 2030.

Globally, food companies have committed to café-free eggs production and higher animal welfare-friendly farming practices throughout the supply chain.

The global standards include access to sunlight unlike the use of battery charges.

Carrefour’s announcement could also spur change in the local farming practices, especially those in large-scale production of eggs, where incubators are used for mass and faster production and profits.

The policy will also see the supermarkets sell 100 percent organic Carrefour-branded products, including meat, vegetable and fruits by 2023.

“Anything that is private label is what we have extensive control over. We will have oversight from beginning to the end,” said Mr Macharia.

The UAE firm said the Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Policy will overarch business commitments and positions on crucial welfare standards.

Islamic countries also hold strict rules for humane slaughter with meat whose animals are killed before being made unconscious regarded unlawful.

“Majid Al Futtaim’s announcement to exclusively source cage-free eggs for all its Carrefour retail operations will help to reduce the suffering of countless hens,” said Aaron Ross, Vice President of Policy and Strategy at The Humane League.

“This policy demonstrates that Majid Al Futtaim has true courage of their convictions, cutting-edge market intelligence, and strong relationships with customers and suppliers.”

Carrefour has outlets in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.

This story was first published in the Business Daily.