HO CHI MINH CITY, Viet Nam—Humane Society International, a global animal welfare organization, congratulates Sofitel Saigon Plaza—one of Accor’s international hotel brands—for their efforts to reach a 100% cage-free egg supply chain.
The milestone comes after Accor committed to completely eliminating eggs that come from caged hens from its supply chain in some markets by 2020, and in remaining markets by 2024.
HSI began working with Accor to establish this timeline in 2016 and began discussions with Sofitel Saigon Plaza during the COVID-19 pandemic when all of Ho Chi Minh City was in lockdown. Despite the challenges of business shutdowns, HSI and Sofitel Saigon Plaza developed an action plan for implementing the cage-free egg commitment. The hotel started working with a Humane Farm Animal Care certified supplier in Ho Chi Minh City, followed by a site-visit to a cage-free farm and processing plant, which provided hotel representatives with a firsthand look at how seamless a change to higher welfare for egg laying hens could be.
During the farm visit, Mario Mendis, Sofitel Saigon Plaza general manager, was able to see how these social and intelligent animals behave when given room to walk and spread their wings in cage-free environment.
Mendis said: “It was eye-opening to see the hens have more freedom to move. They are able to walk around and reach comfortable nests for egg laying. This is something that our group cares deeply about, and that Accor’s Planet 21 initiative on healthy and sustainable food, and animal welfare, is designed to achieve”.
In contrast, cage systems confine hens in tiny spaces, where each individual lives her life in a space equal to an A4-sized sheet of paper. Hens in these systems cannot move freely or fully spread their wings.
Hang Le, Southeast Asia manager for Humane Society International’s farm animal welfare and protection program, said: “Sofitel Saigon Plaza’s leadership sets an important precedent for other companies in Viet Nam and Asia, many of whom have made public commitments to go cage-free but have yet to make significant progress. Ensuring better treatment of the animals involved is a shared responsibility of consumers, corporations and producers alike, and we encourage more companies to follow this example”.
“Confining hens to cages is cruel, and that is why we made a plan to change our purchasing to suppliers that have implemented animal welfare measures. To meet the challenge of a slight increase in cost, we are supporting producers through long-term contracts as well as removing unnecessary packaging. Critical to this is ensuring that our guests know why we have made the change: because we care about animals. We believe our guests and society will recognize our efforts because it is the right thing to do. We encourage other hotels and food industry entities to follow our path”, Mendis added.
HSI’s work to improve the welfare of animals in agriculture is both science based and collaborative. The organization works with companies, farmers, processors, scientists and certifiers to support a transition to cage-free housing systems, and offers a wide range of support to companies like Sofitel Saigon Plaza, including farm visits, consumer education, and corporate roundtables and workshops.
As one of these efforts, HSI and the National Agriculture Extension Center of Viet Nam are hosting an event at the Sofitel Saigon Plaza to recognize companies and producers who are implementing higher animal welfare on Nov. 30, 2022. This is the first event of its kind in the country where media are welcome to join. To register, please reach out to An Tran, HSI farm animal welfare manager for Viet Nam, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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