Tesco Lotus, one of the largest retailers in Thailand, has announced it will sell exclusively cage-free eggs at all its stores by 2028. As part of its sustainable sourcing policy, the British-backed company also pledged to source all of its packaged pork from sows not confined in gestation crates by 2027. The retail giant operates more than 2,000 stores in Thailand in five different formats: Hypermarket, Extra, Department Store, Talad, and Express.
Humane Society International, one of the largest and most effective animal protection organizations in the world, applauds this announcement. Dawn Neo, HSI’s corporate outreach manager for farm animal welfare in Asia, said: “We congratulate Tesco Lotus for becoming the first retailer in Southeast Asia, and the first company in Thailand, to commit to a cage-free egg policy, with full implementation by 2028. This important commitment will improve the lives of millions of animals and help to raise animal welfare standards in Thailand and throughout the region.”
Kris Comerford, Tesco Lotus’ product director, stated: “At Tesco Lotus, we strive to offer high quality, healthy, and sustainable products at affordable prices to our customers. To deliver this ambition we have set out a clear policy for sustainable sourcing which includes treating animals in our supply chain humanely at all life stages. Pork meat and eggs are key food items for customers in Thailand and we see opportunities to enhance sourcing standards of these products. By taking the lead, we hope to improve ethical sourcing standards including animal welfare practices in Thailand, so that customers will have access to sustainable products at affordable prices.”
In its transition roadmap, Tesco Lotus plans to ensure that all its packs of 10 eggs come from cage-free hens by 2023, and ensure that all its brand eggs are cage-free by 2028. Currently, Tesco brand organic free-range eggs and cage-free eggs are available at 400 of the company’s larger stores, while ready-to-eat products (such as soft-boiled eggs and steamed eggs) made from cage-free eggs are offered at 550 Tesco Express outlets.
Tesco’s operations in the UK and Central Europe have already committed to selling 100% cage-free eggs by 2025.
In Asia and around the world, egg-laying hens are typically confined in wire cages so small that hens cannot even fully stretch their wings. Cage-free systems generally offer higher animal welfare, as they provide the animals room to move around freely and to express fundamental natural behaviors such as foraging, perching, dustbathing and laying their eggs in nests.
Tesco Lotus joins hundreds of food and hospitality companies that have pledged to switch to using 100% cage-free eggs in their supply chains worldwide, including Accor, Hyatt Hotels, Marriott International, Sodexo, Compass Group and Nestle. In Asia, industry leaders such as The Lo & Behold Group, The Privé Group and SaladStop! have pledged to do the same.