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November 5, 2018

Humane Society International and FAI Brasil host country’s second cage-free egg technical workshop

Humane Society International

  • HSI

SÃO PAULO—Last month, Humane Society International, together with FAI Brasil and with the support of the UK Embassy, hosted a second workshop on the corporate movement towards cage-free egg production in Brazil. This event, held in Jaboticabal, brought together egg producers, food retail leaders, technical specialists, veterinarians and government representatives to share their experiences and discuss successfully implementing cage-free egg production systems in Brazil.

Speakers from Humane Society International, FAI Brasil, Grupo Mantiqueira, the Brazilian Association for Alternative Poultry Production, Barilla and the British Embassy shared information on the technical aspects of cage-free egg production, the global movement towards these higher welfare production systems, and navigating supply chain transition to cage-free eggs. The second part of the workshop featured a visit to FAI Brasil’s cage-free egg production system, where FAI’s experts guided participants through key technical aspects and management practices of successful cage-free farms.

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Maria Fernanda Martin, HSI/Brazil’s animal welfare and behavior specialist, said: “We are very pleased with the positive feedback we received from this workshop, and look forward to continuing to foster open dialogue and collaboration among various stakeholders in the country. We want to ensure that egg producers and food companies in Brazil have the tools and resources necessary to successfully meet consumer demand for higher welfare products and ensure a cage-free future for laying hens.”

Murilo Quintiliano, executive director of FAI Brasil, stated: “I believe that the commitments made by large food companies to source cage-free eggs are very important but just a first step. Our focus now is no longer on what to do, but rather how to do it. This event brought together everyone involved in the egg production sector and practical solutions with respect to planning, execution, and selling were and will continue to be shared. I hope that everyone now understands that cage-free hens are already a reality in our country and that there are people willing to help anyone who wants to embrace these higher welfare systems.”

Animal welfare has become a priority corporate social responsibility issue for companies in Brazil, resulting in a major shift in the country’s food industry towards more ethical sourcing of animal products. Dozens of food industry leaders in Brazil, including Bunge, BFFC, Unilever, Nestlé, McDonald’s, and Giraffas have committed to sourcing exclusively cage-free eggs in their supply chains. Last year, the largest egg producer in Brazil and South America, Mantiqueira, launched its first cage-free egg line to meet this growing demand. In recent months, Carrefour, Brazil’s leading food retailer, announced it would only sale cage-free eggs at its approximately 650 stores in the country.

Egg-laying hens in Brazil are typically confined for their whole lives in wire cages so small that they cannot even fully stretch their wings. Cage-free production systems generally offer hens higher levels of welfare, allowing the birds to express more of their natural behaviors, including moving around, laying eggs in nests, perching, and fully spreading their wings.

END

Media contact: Maria Fernanda Martin, mfmartin@hsi.org, +55 (11) 9 5770 9922

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