SÃO PAULO―Alibem, one of the largest pig producer integrators in Brazil, has published a new animal welfare policy that includes a commitment to reduce the months-long cage confinement of mother sows to no more than seven days, setting a new standard for all upcoming projects and facilities.
According to Humane Society International, this is a tremendous improvement over the standard group housing system that some producers have implemented. By 2031, Alibem will reduce the months-long solitary crate confinement of sows to no more than 35 days, which is 14 years before a 2045 deadline to have group housing for pigs established in Brazil.
Gestation crates, restrictive narrow metal stalls barely larger than a mother pig’s own body, deny them the freedom to move or even turn around. Mother pigs are confined during the entire length of their pregnancy, which is approximately 116 days. Confinement in the restrictive and barren crates has negative physical, psychological and behavioral impacts. In contrast, group housing systems keep sows together in pens where they have the opportunity to express natural behavior, comfortable movement and healthy social interactions. While group housing is becoming much more widespread, some producers using group housing still confine sows in crates for up to six weeks or 42 days after breeding, before moving them into group housing. HSI encourages producers to adopt crate-free systems where groups are formed before the sensitive period of the pregnancy and mother pigs are not confined in stalls for longer than seven days.
Anna Cristina Souza, policy and program manager for HSI Farm Animal Welfare and Protection in Brazil, praised the company’s decision to improve pig welfare and said: “Alibem’s commitment to go gestation crate-free for all new projects makes it a leader in animal welfare in the pig industry. This decision means that tens of thousands of mother pigs will be relieved from months confined in a crate barely larger than their own bodies.”
Souza says this signals an even brighter green light for the Brazilian pig sector to move away from gestation crates. There is a quiet revolution in Brazil, with the largest pork-producing companies implementing group housing systems Alibem joins other industry giants, such as JBS, BRF, Aurora, Pamplona, Pif Paf and Allegra, on the journey to either completely phase out or significantly reduce the amount of time that mother pigs are in solitary crate confinement. Together these companies represent most of the pig industry in Brazil.
Media contact: Anna Cristina Souza,policy and program manager for HSI Farm Animal Welfare and Protection in Brazil, email@example.com
Humane Society International
SÃO PAULO—Special Dog, one of the largest pet food manufacturers in Brazil, announced that it is now procuring exclusively cage-free eggs for its manufacturing operations. This move makes Special Dog the first pet food manufacturer in Brazil to have effectively implemented its 100% cage-free eggs policy.
Brazil has almost 114 million hens and a majority are confined in cramped wire cages, preventing them from spreading their wings or taking more than a single step. Cage-free production systems provide hens with the space they need to lay eggs in nests, stretch their wings, scratch the ground, socialize with their peers and to peck—all of which are scientifically documented behavioral needs.
Anna Cristina Souza, policy and program manager for Humane Society International Farm Animal Welfare and Protection in Brazil, said: “Special Dog is now relieving thousands of egg-laying hens from a life of extreme confinement and sending a clear message to the egg industry that the future of egg production is cage-free.”
João Paulo Figueira, sustainable development manager for Special Dog, shared what motivated the company to adopt higher standards to guide their procurement practices: “Valuing animal welfare is the essence of our work, as we guarantee quality of life and longevity for more than 3 million dogs and cats that we feed daily. We understand that this care should fall on our supply chain as well, and with a lot of commitment, we completed the cage-free transition in less than a year.”
While pet food manufacturers such as Premier Pet, Premiatta, Dr. Stanley, and Padaria Pet have made commitments to embrace cage-free practices, it’s Special Dog that takes the lead in the Brazilian pet food sector, having already implemented its cage-free policy. Nestle, Unilever, and Pepsico have also pledged to halt the purchase of eggs from caged hens by 2025, a collective shift that underscores the undeniable momentum towards a future where cage-free egg production becomes the norm.
Media contact: Anna Cristina Souza: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill 70/2014, backed by Humane Society International, passed a plenary session vote in the Senate, advancing bill to final legislative step
Humane Society International
BRASILIA—After nearly a decade in the National Congress, Bill 70/2014, which aims to enact a federal ban on animal testing for cosmetics in Brazil, passed the Senate today. The amended bill, which represents the collaborative work of Humane Society International and the Brazilian Association of the Personal Hygiene, Perfumery and Cosmetics Industry, garnered the support of Sen. Alessandro Vieira, Sen. Eliziane Gama andSen. Nelsinho Trad. The Liberte-se da Crueldade Brazil campaign, launched in 2012, led by Humane Society International in Brazil in partnership with the NGO Te Protejo, handed in more than 1.6 million signatures to the President of the Senate demonstrating citizen support to encourage the swift vote of this bill, which has been dwelling in Congress for nearly a decade.
Humane Society International in cooperation with the Brazilian Association of the Personal Hygiene, Perfumery and Cosmetics Industry strengthened the bill language to reflect international best practices in non-animal testing methods. Stakeholders achieved a consensus, highlighting that cosmetics animal testing on products and their ingredients was unnecessary, leading to the unanimous vote of the amended bill, marking a significant milestone for animals used in laboratories in Brazil.
Antoniana Ottoni, public affairs specialist from HSI, said: ‘We’ve achieved a significant milestone today. After nearly a decade in Congress, we were finally able to pass this in the Federal Senate. We are very pleased to see this bill moving once again. This was a joint effort between Humane Society International, the Brazilian Association of the Personal Hygiene, Perfumery and Cosmetics Industry and the politicians who have supported this issue. We thank the president of the Senate for championing this bill, along with all senators who continue to reinforce this issue in Congress. We look forward to working with all stakeholders to move the bill swiftly through the final legislative stage to become law.”
Senator Nelsinho Trad said: “It is our duty to protect animals. I am happy to endorse this matter and with the movement of the Federal Senate in favor of the cause. Now, we urge colleagues in the Chamber of Deputies to analyze the substitutive text and approve it as soon as possible.”
The next step for this project to become a federal law will be a debate and vote in the Chamber of Deputies, which could make Brazil the 43rd country to ban animal testing for cosmetics.
Animal testing for cosmetics can subject rabbits, guinea pigs and mice to eye/skin irritation, eye/skin corrosion, acute toxicity (LD50), and other tests s without pain relief. Consequences of this type of experimentation are permanent skin injuries, blindness, eye irritation, stress, intoxication and death.
Worldwide, there are already 42 countries that have banned animal testing for cosmetic purposes, including India, Norway, Switzerland, South Korea, Australia, Colombia, Mexico and those belonging to the European Union. At the national level, the Federal District and 13 states in Brazil have legislated through state laws to end these practices: São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Amazonas, Pará, Santa Catarina, Paraná, Pernambuco, Espírito Santo, Acre and Paraíba. However, Bill 70/2014 seeks to ban experimentation on animals for cosmetics at the federal level, thus including all states in the country.
More than 2,000 “cruelty-free” beauty brands are available worldwide. These companies produce safe products by using ingredients that have a history of safe use along with modern reliability assessment tools without the need for animals. HSI recommends reviewing the list of brands free of animal testing in Te Protejo Brasil.
Media Contact: Antoniana Ottoni: +556181403636; email@example.com
Cooperation between Conscious Eating Brazil, Humane Society International and city hall will ensure that more than 170,000 students have more vegetables, legumes, grains and fruits on their plate
Humane Society International / Brazil
SALVADOR—The municipality of Salvador signed a cooperation agreement with Humane Society International and Mercy for Animals, through the Conscious Eating Brazil (ACB) program to launch the Educating for Sustainability program in municipal schools. The initiative, will impact more than 10 million meals a year in municipal schools, providing new, tasty and healthy options on the menu of 170,000 students, who will have more vegetables, legumes, grains and fruits on their plates.
The recipes were developed according to the needs of the institutions and the acceptance of students, also considering the food culture of the region, the infrastructure of the kitchens and the regulations that the institutions must follow, according to the National School Feeding Program. Participating institutions are encouraged to prepare meals only with in-natura ingredients
“By making this inclusion on the menu of institutions that serve meals on a large scale, such as schools and popular restaurants, we were able to significantly contribute to a systemic change in food culture, in addition to influencing an individual change in consumption for those who have the power to choose their food,” says Alice Martins, manager of Food Policies at Conscious Food Brazil in a statement translated from Portuguese into English.
The organizations created these programs to meet the demands and needs of public institutions that serve meals on a large scale. At no cost to the partner institution, these organizations offer the support of a team of nutritionists, chefs and specialized professionals who provide menu development, theoretical training in nutritional and environmental education and practical training in plant-based meal preparation. In addition, all professionals in the municipality involved in the program implementation process receive printed and virtual nutritional and environmental education materials to support a successful implementation. The organizations provide ongoing support after the program is in place.
“The idea is to instill and create long-term changes in students’ eating habits. Today in Brazil we know that children, mainly from the poorest strata of the population, which is the target public of the municipal school system, do not consume the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables, and protein sources are concentrated on products of animal origin, so our proposal is that we can encourage our children to form a healthier palate for the rest of their lives,” says Municipal Secretary of Education, Marcelo Oliveira, in a translated statement.
“The objective is for municipal schools to easily include menu options with a greater variety of plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and cereals, which form the basis of a healthy diet, according to the recommendations from the Ministry of Health, through its Food Guide for the Brazilian Population, and the World Health Organization,” says Thayana Oliveira, manager of Food Policies at HSI in Brazil.
The commitment will also help Salvador achieve critical climate, sustainability and health goals set by international and Brazilian authorities. After the program is implemented in all municipal schools, the city will receive the International Seal of Leadership in Health and Sustainability, recognizing its role and commitment to advancing and mitigating climate issues through healthy and sustainable eating. The program will also move the municipality closer to achieving five of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and achieve goals 2, 7 and 26 of the Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Plan developed by the municipality in an intersectoral manner.
“The program meets management objectives and will be a stimulus for our Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Plan, which aims to neutralize greenhouse gas emissions by 2049 in the municipality. In addition, it will promote healthy eating habits among students, with an increase in the consumption of vegetables, fruits, and other items of plant origin, highlighted the Secretary of Sustainability and Resilience, Edna França, in a translated statement.
According to estimates of the scientific methodology used by ACB and HSI for the environmental impact, annually, the partnership will contribute to:
a savings of 50,000 tons of soy that will no longer be destined for livestock, enough to feed about 1.3 million adults for one year;
the preservation of 16,000 hectares of forests preserved, the equivalent of 16,000 football fields;
a savings of 400 million liters of water, equivalent to more than 3 million 15-minute showers;
the elimination of 75,000 tons of CO2 that would have been emitted, equivalent to about 575 million km not driven by car.
To learn more about ACB and HSI and learn about the resources offered free of charge to public institutions, visit alimentacaoconsciente.org and carnesdaterra.org.
Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture (MAPA) has introduced a new regulation making it possible for companies to forego two obsolete and scientifically unnecessary animal tests for quality control of veterinary biological products such as vaccines. The move has been welcomed by Humane Society International, which has been working in Brazil and across the globe with regulatory authorities and industry stakeholders to eliminate and replace obsolete animal testing from regulations for both human and veterinary biological products, promoting a global regulatory alignment in the way non-animal tests are accepted and implemented.
The animal tests impacted by the new Brazilian regulation – the Target and Laboratory Animal Batch Safety Tests – were developed nearly a century ago, consumed vast numbers of mice, guinea pigs, birds and larger animals, and are now widely regarded as unnecessary for assuring the safety of veterinary biologicals. Following a comprehensive scientific review, Brazil has decided to join the United States, Europe, Japan and other major economies in allowing companies to waive these tests.
Antoniana Ottoni, federal affairs specialist for Humane Society International in Brazil, said, “This welcome regulatory reform is a true win-win-win – sparing animals needless suffering and death, reducing costs and bureaucracy for companies and authorities, while ensuring a high standard of quality and safety for veterinary medicines in Brazil. We are grateful to colleagues in our Agriculture Ministry for their collaboration and willingness to break from a century old tradition in favour of alignment with the growing international scientific and regulatory consensus.”
Marcos Vinícius Santana Leandro, auditor and General Coordinator of Veterinary Products in MAPA’s Department of Animal Health said, “The Ministry of Agriculture, Supply and Livestock took the decision to install an official process for waiving animal tests for quality control for veterinary products, aware that the safety of these products can be achieved by improving the manufacturing process, which have come a long way over the past few decades, introducing strict controls over starting materials and the development of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), quality assurance and control, and pharmacovigilance systems. These advances have contributed to the creation of a safe environment in which waiving these tests has become a viable and safe possibility. In addition, it will enable the regulatory harmonization necessary to reduce bureaucracy in the registration of health veterinary products of extreme relevance to animal health and the development in our country.”
Humane Society International is pleased by changes in national regulations to minimize animal use in school supplies safety assessment
Humane Society International
RIO DE JANEIRO—Humane Society International is excited to announce that animal-free safety assessment of school supplies is now possible in Brazil. Previously, rats and rabbits were routinely used to test paints, glues and other school supplies. HSI worked together with Brazilian stakeholders to change the requirements for school supplies safety, avoiding the use of many animals.
Although several non-animal methods have been accepted in Brazil since 2014, due to lack of clarity animals are still routinely used. Non-animal assessment of school supplies first required changing the Brazilian National Standards Association (ABNT) norm for school articles safety to allow assessment of the product based on existing information on its ingredients. Another important change is the requirement that animals are used only as a last resort and only when technical justifications are present. These unprecedented changes have been codified in ABNT NBR 15236:2021, published on Sept. 9.
The second required change was for the registering authority to refer to this new norm, which was published on Oct. 8 in the Inmetro Ordinance number 423. This makes the ABNT 15236:2021 the mandatory requirement for toxicological safety assessment and school supplies compliance in Brazil.
These regulatory changes are the result of a joint effort and HSI appreciates the discussions involving different stakeholders and the important support provided by the National Council for the Control of Animal Experimentation (CONCEA).
“These apparently simple changes ensure child safety while avoiding the unjustifiable use of many animals in safety assessment of school supplies in Brazil,” said Dr Bianca Marigliani, HSI’s science advisor. “These changes also set the precedent for the kind of regulatory clarity that is needed to finally implement non-animal methods in chemical safety assessment in Brazil and bring us closer to regulatory harmonization with other countries.”
According to Brazilian regulations, all school supplies with more than 3 grams of paints, glues, gouaches, watercolors and powered material per unit of use must have their safety confirmed regarding acute oral toxicity. Those susceptible to skin contact must also have their safety confirmed for skin irritation. According to the previous version of the ABNT 15236 (Amendment 1, published in May, 2020), acute oral toxicity and skin irritation could be assessed by in vivo or in vitro methods, which means the laboratories were free to choose between testing on living animals or using alternative methods, in these cases, cell cultures. In addition, in Brazil safety testing has traditionally been performed on finished products, which is expensive, time consuming and has significant limitations, mostly counting on animal testing.
the Three Rs principle, which stands for reduction, refinement and replacement of animal use;
the Environmental Crimes Law (Law number 605/1998), which considers it a crime to use living animals for scientific purposes when there are alternatives; and
the Normative Resolution number 18 of the CONCEA, which recognized alternative methods for different endpoints, including an alternative (non-animal) method for skin irritation, and with a five-year deadline for mandatory replacement of the animal method, ended in September, 2019.
Aware of the possibility of an unjustified and wrongful use of animals for conformity assessment of school supplies, HSI managed to engage CONCEA and ABNT on the discussion to change the ABNT 15236 norm. ABNT organized a series of online meetings with HSI and CONCEA members, representatives of laboratories and school supplies industries and other stakeholders to discuss HSI suggestions for changing the ABNT requirements for safety assessment of school supplies. After two rounds of public consultation, HSI’s suggestions were accepted and ABNT standard 15236:2021 was published on Sept. 9, 2021.
The main changes by endpoint are the following:
for both acute oral toxicity and skin irritation, the ingredient-based safety assessment is the recommended strategy.
for acute oral toxicity, in vitro methods can be used if it is not possible to perform ingredient-based safety assessment, and in vivo methods are only allowed as a last resort and when there is technical justification (e.g. sample incompatibility with the in vitro test).
for skin irritation, an integrated approach on testing and assessment (IATA) must be followed, if new tests are needed, in vitro methods can be used, and in vivo methods are only allowed as a last resort and when there is technical justification.
The ABNT 15236:2021 is now cited by the consolidated version of the Inmetro Ordinance number 423, which determines the requirements for conformity assessment of school supplies. This makes the ABNT 15236:2021 the mandatory requirement for toxicological safety assessment and school supplies compliance in Brazil. The changes made to the ABNT 15236 ensure child safety while guaranteeing the use of animals as the very last resort, which can prevent the unjustifiable use of many animals in the safety assessment of school supplies.
Humane Society International / in Brazil
BRASILIA—The Brazilian Supreme Court yesterday upheld a Rio de Janeiro state law banning animal testing for cosmetics. The ruling was welcomed by animal protection NGO Humane Society International, which filed a legal brief in the court case and is the leading organization working to eliminate cosmetic animal testing worldwide in favor of modern, non-animal approaches to safety assessment.
The constitutionality of Rio de Janeiro State Law 7.814/2017, and a similar ban in Amazonas State, was challenged in 2018 by the Brazilian Association of Cosmetics, Personal Hygiene and Perfume Industry (ABIHPEC). Last year the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of the Amazonas state testing ban, upholding the state’s authority to prohibit such inhumane and unnecessary activity, and yesterday´s ruling reinforced this important decision.
The Court also held that the parts on the Rio de Janeiro state law banning sales of cosmetics tested on animals and requiring specific product labeling exceeded the state’s legislative competence. This holding underscores the importance of enacting acomprehensive federal ban on cosmetic animal testing and trade at the federal level in Brazil. Humane Society International is actively working on this national effort, which aligns with similar bans already in place in 40 countries. HSI’s work to secure 10 state-level testing bans in Brazil builds momentum to advance a federal bill, which has been languishing in the Senate for seven years.
As a result of HSI’s #SaveRalph campaign, which launched last month with support of superstar Rodrigo Santoro, more than 1.5 million Brazilians have signed the HSI-ONG Te Protejo petition calling for a federal cosmetic testing and sales ban in Brazil. The extraordinary virality of #SaveRalph and groundswell of public support has re-ignited federal political interest in this topic, with a Senate debate expected to take place in the coming weeks.
Antoniana Ottoni, Humane Society International federal affairs specialist for research & toxicology, said: “Yesterday’s Supreme Court decision confirms that state bans on cosmetic animal testing are indeed constitutional. As this outdated and inhumane practice is prohibited across the country, now is the time for the industry, lawmakers and the federal government to join together to advance a meaningful federal law to ban cosmetic animal testing and sales of cosmetics tested on animals across the whole of Brazil.”
The states of Amazonas, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Pará, Paraná, Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Santa Catarina and Federal District have already banned cosmetic tests on animals. Together, these states host more than 70% of Brazil’s national cosmetic industry
Tests on animals are still recognized by National Agency for Sanitary Surveillance (ANVISA) guidelines to assess the dangers of cosmetic products and their ingredients. These include tests for eye and skin irritation (using rabbits), skin allergy (using mice or guinea pigs), general toxic effects (in which a cosmetic chemical is force-fed to rats in either a single massive dose or smaller daily doses for up to three months), or specific toxic concerns such as infertility (which use up to 2,600 rats and their offspring per test). Although some tests have been recently phased-out by the National Council for the Control of Animal Experiments, long-term animal tests are still allowed.
Forty countries have already enacted measures aligned with the objectives of the campaign, including the United Kingdom, European Union, Norway, Israel, India, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, Switzerland, Turkey, Guatemala, Australia, Iceland and Colombia. Similar legislation is being advanced by Humane Society International and our partners in Chile, Mexico, Canada, the United States, South Africa and the Association of South-East Asian Nations.
HSI’s campaign to ban cosmetic animal testing in Brazil has received the support of numerous influencers and celebrities, including Rodrigo Santoro, Fernanda Tavares, Ellen Jabour, Mylla Christie, Macris Carneiro, and Rita Von Hunty.
Media contact: Antoniana Ottoni: firstname.lastname@example.org; +55 (61) 9 8140 3636
Humane Society International
SÃO PAULO—Casa Santa Luzia, a traditional high-end supermarket in the city of São Paulo, announced it will sell exclusively cage-free eggs by 2023.
This commitment comes after many years of working with Humane Society International and other animal protection organizations. HSI will continue to work with the company in Brazil during the implementation of this policy.
Ianê Almeida, animal welfare specialist for HSI Farm Animals in Brazil, said: “We congratulate Casa Santa Luzia for adopting a full 100% cage-free egg commitment, and we look forward to continuing to work with the company and its egg suppliers on the implementation of this policy. This decision sends a clear message to the egg industry that the future of egg production is cage-free in Brazil.”
This commitment will improve the lives of thousands of egg-laying hens. 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 typically offer hens higher levels of welfare, allowing the birds to express more of their natural behavior, including ground scratching and pecking, laying their eggs in nests, perching and fully spreading their wings. HSI works together with the food industry in Brazil and worldwide to help ensure a successful transition to these higher animal welfare production systems through farm tours, technical workshops on cage-free systems and the exchange of best practices.
Casa Santa Luzia joins the growing list of supermarkets in Brazil, including the four largest, that have committed to selling exclusively cage-free eggs in the country: Carrefour, Walmart (Grupo Big), GPA and Cencosud.
SÃO PAULO—Cencosud, the fourth largest supermarket chain in Brazil, has announced it will sell exclusively cage-free eggs at its over 200 stores throughout eight states in the country. Cenconsud operates under different brands—GBarbosa, Bretas, Prezunic, Perini and Mercantil Rodrigues—and all of them are covered by the policy, which will be fully implemented by 2025 for their own brand eggs, and by 2028 for all eggs. The company also operates in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Peru, and has an office in China.
This commitment comes after many years of working with Humane Society International and other animal protection organizations. HSI will continue to work with the company in Brazil during the implementation of this policy, and in the countries where they operate, to help them adopt a 100% global cage-free egg commitment.
Maria Fernanda Martin, corporate policy and program manager for HSI Farm Animals in Brazil, said: “We applaud Cencosud for adopting a full 100% cage-free egg commitment, and we look forward to continuing to work with the company and its egg suppliers on the implementation of this policy. This move will relieve thousands of egg-laying hens from a life of extreme confinement, and sends a clear message to the egg industry that the future of egg production is cage-free.”
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 typically offer hens higher levels of welfare, allowing the birds to express more of their natural behavior, including ground scratching and pecking, laying their eggs in nests, perching and fully spreading their wings. HSI works together with the food industry in Brazil and worldwide to help ensure a successful transition to these higher animal welfare production systems, through farm tours, technical workshops on cage-free systems and the exchange of best practices.
Cencosud joins the other three largest supermarket companies in Brazil that have fully committed to selling exclusively cage-free eggs in the country: Carrefour, Walmart (Grupo Big) and GPA. From one end of the supply chain to the other, companies in Brazil and in the region are committing to cage-free.
SÃO PAULO—Food and hospitality companies across South America agree farm animal welfare is a core part of any responsible sourcing or sustainability policy, especially during the current pandemic. This message was a recurring theme at last week’s Humane Society International virtual “From Commitment to Action” workshop about farm animal welfare in South America.
Attendees included companies from several different sectors and five different countries, including retailers, restaurant chains, hotel chains and baked goods manufacturers, among others. These companies joined food and egg producers, scientists, investors, animal welfare specialists and policy makers to discuss ongoing efforts to promote the production of eggs and pork using systems that do not confine chickens and pigs to tight, immobilizing cages.
The three-day roundtable examined three key issues: the why and how of adopting a commitment to cage- or crate-free sourcing; opportunities and challenges for suppliers seeking to meet this new demand; and growing support for the cage- and crate-free movement, as evidenced by new financing approaches, supportive policies and consumer demand.
For over 10 years, Humane Society International has worked closely with companies, suppliers and policy makers to support higher animal welfare standards in supply chains across the region.
As Maria Fernanda Martin, corporate policy and program manager for HSI Farm Animals in Brazil, observed: “Every day we work with forward-thinking companies to support their implementation of animal welfare policies, to identify opportunities for collaboration and to share of lessons among various stakeholders. HSI is committed to providing companies and suppliers with all the tools and technical resources they need to make a cage-free future for laying hens and a crate-free future for sows a reality. And we embrace new companies that want to join this movement. This year, we celebrated cage-free commitments from over a dozen companies; next year we expect to see even more progress as the cage- and crate-free movement continues to spread.”
Barilla, which won the Henry Spira Corporate Progress Award from Humane Society of the United States for transitioning its supply chain to 100% cage-free eggs a year earlier than planned, shared the key reasons and the ‘how-to’ on achieving its cage-free commitment early.
Fabiana Araujo, Barilla’s marketing manager, said: “With the support of the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition Foundation, we understand and carry out actions that seek the balance between a nutritionally balanced diet and less environmental impact. The implementation of cage-free eggs is an important step in respect for consumers and the environment, and we are grateful to all the associations and production chains that supported us in this process. We hope that more companies can be part this movement, increasing the consumer awareness about better animal conditions. Animal welfare is an urgent matter and needs to be on the leadership agenda.”
Arcos Dorados, Carrefour Argentina, and AB Brasil, among other companies, reaffirmed that their reputations and ability to maintain consumer trust depend in part on strong animal welfare policies.
According to Yamila Scollo, Sustainability and Social Responsibility Manager for Carrefour Argentina: “Carrefour`s sustainability policy is aligned with new consumer`s trends. Under the challenge of leading the food transition, we have initiated a road that strengthen the commitment to offer our clients products that come from production systems with focus on environment care and animal welfare. We have conformed an interdisciplinary team over areas that foster animal welfare issues, designing concrete action plans, with key stakeholders’ advice”. In addition, Ricardo Huber, responsible for the development of Natural Print brand and fresh organic products in Argentina said: “We aim to develop even more our Natural Print Brand, which is a product line that focus on animal welfare, environmental respect and biodiversity protection, including zero deforestation and the preservation of native ecosystems. We are working to enlarge the diversity of producers and suppliers expanding good practices, like we have done with our cage free eggs. In a way, conventional producers adapt and transform their production systems to a more sustainable one”.
Vitor Oliveira, head of Egg Business in AB Brasil also stated: “To participate in events like this gives us the chance to effectively contribute to the debate on the balance of the production system, the preservation of life and environmental stability. As egg processors, we are an intermediate link, essential to the egg-products’ production chain and, in the position we are, it is rewarding to see that we are advancing with responsibility and planning to expand the dissemination of a new culture capable of combining respect for the human and animal lives and human prosperity with viable actions.”
Grupo Mantiqueira, South America’s largest egg producer, shared its journey toward cage-free production, its new commitment to no longer investing in new cage facilities and the importance of close and ongoing communication with companies and consumers.
Leandro Pinto, president and founder of the group stated: “We are building a sustainable company, reinventing ourselves and anticipating what the next generations will ask for. And for the sake of quality and transparency, we are committed to not building any new conventional cage facilities, and also to making large investments in cage-free farms so that, by 2025, we will have 2.5 million laying hens in this system. We believe that Mantiqueira will revolutionize the Brazilian poultry farming with that decision. Consumers are increasingly aware of the origin of their food, and we want to participate in the values that are being demanded. We want our purpose to focus on animal welfare to democratize and make the consumption of cage-free eggs accessible to all the people.”
In South America and around the world, egg-laying hens spend their entire lives confined in wire battery cages that are so small that the hens 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.
Mother pigs are also confined in gestation crates.
However, advocates for better animal welfare are making enormous progress in South America. Over 100 food and hospitality companies in the region have committed to sourcing exclusively cage-free eggs by 2025 or earlier. The future is cage- and crate-free, and South America is leading the way.