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November 27, 2017

Brazilian food industry leaders meet to discuss animal welfare

Humane Society International

  • © Iain Sarjeant/iStockphoto

Humane Society International hosted Brazil’s first corporate animal welfare roundtable, bringing together food industry leaders to discuss the cage-free egg movement in the country. In recent years, egg-laying hen welfare has become a priority corporate social responsibility issue for the food industry, with dozens of food companies committing to sourcing exclusively cage-free eggs.

The roundtable, which took place at the Mercure hotel in São Paulo, included speakers from Arcos Dorados, the company that operates all McDonald’s restaurants in Brazil and 19 other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, and Bunge, one of Brazil’s largest food and agribusiness companies. They spoke about their corporate commitments and actions to achieve a transition to a 100 percent cage-free egg supply chains by 2025. Other speakers included representatives from FAI do Brasil, who discussed technical information regarding cage-free egg production systems, and from Certified Humane, who shared information on animal welfare certification in Brazil. Representatives from Brazilian companies that have already committed to or are looking into cage-free supply chains attended the roundtable.

Leonardo Lima, director of sustainable development for Arcos Dorados, said: “Arcos Dorados has a strong commitment to animal welfare in all its procurement and follows advances in farm animal production models. That is why we are sourcing exclusively cage-free eggs by 2025, committed to providing our clients with higher quality products. Our partnership with Humane Society International will help ensure that our animal welfare policies are robust and applicable to our suppliers.”

Meire de Fatima de Ferreira, sustainability manager for Bunge in Brazil, stated: “At Bunge we take corporate social responsibility and responsible consumption seriously, which includes animal welfare in our supply chain. We’re committed to only sourcing cage-free eggs by 2025, and will work with Humane Society International and our peers to make this happen.”

Fernanda Vieira, corporate policy and program manager for HSI Farm Animals in Brazil, stated: “We’re thrilled to host Brazil’s first corporate animal welfare roundtable and bring together forward-thinking companies that are committed to higher animal welfare standards in their supply chains. Humane Society International’s mission is to not only call for the improved treatment of animals, but to support companies as they implement animal welfare policies, and encourage collaboration among various stakeholders. We want to help ensure that companies have all of the tools and resources they need to make a cage-free future for laying hens a reality.”

Support farm animals.

In Brazil and around the world, egg-laying hens spend their entire lives confined in wire battery cages, so small that they cannot even fully spread their wings. Science confirms what common sense tells us: the lack of space and restriction of movement is detrimental to the physical health of these animals and causes enormous frustration and suffering. However, advocates for better animal welfare are making enormous progress in Brazil. Dozens of the largest food corporations, including McDonald’s, Bunge, Cargill, Nestlé, BFFC, and GRSA, have committed to using exclusively cage-free eggs in their supply chains in Brazil, by 2025 or earlier.

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