Central Food Retail is Moving Away from Cages



Central Food Retail is Moving Away from Cages


After a series of talks with Sinergia Animal, Central Food Retail, the largest supermarket chain in Thailand, with more than 240 locations across the country, has announced a policy to increase the proportion of cage-free eggs to 50% in all its locations in the country. They will complete the transition by 2025. This commitment means they will be moving away from battery cages, which are considered one of the cruelest forms of animal confinement. “We see a good trend coming from the retail sector in Thailand in the animal welfare area. The announcement from Central Food Retail to increase the proportion of cage-free eggs to 50% has the potential to reduce the suffering of millions of animals in Thailand, and we hope that many companies will follow suit,” said Janjaree Chianwichai, Sinergia Animal’s Communications and Corporate Engagement Manager. Sinergia Animal will continue dialogue with large companies in Thailand, including Central Food Retail, to ban cages completely in the food industry.


The practice of sourcing cage-free eggs is relatively new to the food industry in Thailand, but it is a growing trend worldwide. Currently, more than 1,000 companies worldwide have declared policies to only source cage-free eggs in their supply chains. For example, many international companies like Sodexo, Compass Group, Nestlé, and Unilever have already committed to stop sourcing eggs from facilities that use cages worldwide, including in Thailand. Since they are considered one of the cruelest systems, battery cages have already been banned in the European Union and many states in the U.S.


The reality of battery cages

Thailand is the third-biggest egg producer in Southeast Asia. The majority of the 60 million laying hens in Thailand are kept in battery cages, which is considered one of the cruelest practices in animal agriculture. Hens spend their whole lives in a space smaller than an A4-sized sheet of paper, in which they cannot even walk or stretch their wings completely. Because the cages are too crowded, the hens' bodies are in constant contact with the metal bars, making them lose their feathers. The lack of physical exercise causes them painful bone diseases and fractures. Cage-free farms can significantly reduce the suffering of laying hens, as they allow animals to express most of their natural behaviors, such as moving freely, nesting, pecking, and perching.


The food safety conditions of these farms are also a major concern. Major studies conducted in the European Union reveal that the risk of salmonella contamination in caged farms is significantly higher than in cage-free farms. According to the World Health Organization, one of the most prevalent types of salmonella is “estimated to cause 93.8 million cases of acute gastroenteritis and 155,000 deaths globally each year, approximately 85% of which are estimated to be foodborne."


Sinergia Animal Thailand is working diligently, through negotiations and campaigns, to get more companies to join this movement in Thailand. You can be a part of it by signing up to volunteer: With quick and easy online actions, you can help reduce the suffering of millions of animals.


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