Majid Al Futtaim commits to cage-free eggs under new animal welfare policy in a regional first
DUBAI – Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, commits to only sell cage-free eggs across its Carrefour franchise in the region under a newly signed animal welfare policy. The Company is working toward a 100% cage-free shell egg private label assortment across all markets it operates in by 2030 and all national brands by 2032.
Developed in partnership with The Humane League, the first-of-its-kind commitment goes beyond what legislation prescribes and contributes to further improvements in farming conditions in the region. Under the new Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Policy, Majid Al Futtaim will promote alternative and more sustainable housing systems, such as cage-free, outdoor access systems, free-range systems and organic. In driving much-needed change across regional markets and raising awareness on the topic of animal welfare, the company is committed to working with suppliers to increase its offerings of cage-free shell eggs in Carrefour’s assortment.
“Under our long-held commitment to leading in all the markets in which we operate, Majid Al Futtaim Retail is proud to provide its customers with products that comply with the highest quality and safety standards, and that have been produced by socially and environmentally responsible means,” said Hani Weiss, Chief Executive Officer, Majid Al Futtaim Retail.
“This announcement is the region’s first Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Policy to state overarching business commitments and positions on crucial welfare standards. As a result of announcement, our customers can expect the highest animal health and welfare standards from Carrefour throughout the region. We are dedicated to working responsibly in this area and will continue to make progress by supporting best practices across our supply chains.”
This commitment seeks to deliver a number of potential advantages to the wider society as a result of adopting higher welfare farming. Cage-free egg production offers consumers a host of benefits, including improved health, reduced mortality, higher product quality, enhanced disease resistance and reduced medication, lower risk of foodborne diseases, farmer job satisfaction and a contribution to corporate citizenship efforts.
“Majid Al Futtaim’s announcement to exclusively source cage-free eggs for all its Carrefour retail operations will help to reduce the suffering of countless hens,” said Aaron Ross, Vice President of Policy and Strategy at The Humane League. “This policy demonstrates that Majid Al Futtaim has true courage of their convictions, cutting-edge market intelligence, and strong relationships with customers and suppliers.”
Across all its markets, Majid Al Futtaim is working hand-in-hand with industry, government and business partners to help transform the market in pursuit of sourcing cage-free eggs for its Carrefour operations, and ensure that 100% of its private label products come from non-genetically modified animals by the end of 2023. The company has further committed to annually reviewing its cage-free progress and disclosing developments to remain transparent in the challenges faced and success achieved in pursuing its policy goals.
The 2032 date for all Carrefour regional operations will provide a conservative ten-year phase-in period in consideration of the unique challenges in some regional markets. Majid Al Futtaim will work closely with national brand suppliers, industry partners and other stakeholders on systematic changes towards higher animal health and welfare standards in the respective markets.
The policy also stipulates multiple important points relating to the general health and wellbeing of animals, including freedom from hunger, thirst and discomfort by providing an appropriate environment. Freedom from pain, disease, injury, and freedom to display normal behaviour. Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering. And finally, freedom to undergo positive experiences by providing appropriate conditions to experience positive emotions and encourage natural behaviour.