Private equity firm MFT Group won praise today from international non-profit Lever Foundation for its new commitment to source only cage-free eggs by 2025 for all of its food-related brands.
MFT Group’s portfolio includes financial services, real estate, healthcare, and food and beverage brands. Its subsidiary Waterwoods Group Corporation produces ready-to-eat products for several leading retail and convenience chains in the Philippines, including FamilyMart. The Group also operates Mimi & Bros in the Philippines, La Lola Churreria in Singapore, and SaladStop! restaurants in Vietnam.
“Our company strives for excellence while always keeping an eye on community impact and social responsibility. Committing to the finest ingredients is paramount for us, which is why we have decided to switch to using only cage-free eggs and egg ingredients by 2025 for all of our food-related brands,” said Astrid Serrano, Head of F&B Operations for MFT Group.
“We applaud MFT Group for this important cage-free commitment, which will benefit Filipino consumers, while also improving the welfare of animals in the company’s supply chain,” said Robyn del Rosario, Sustainability Program Manager at Lever Foundation, which worked with MFT on its pledge. “MFT is the first fresh food manufacturer in the Philippines to announce a cage-free commitment, and we encourage other companies to follow MFT’s great example in order to protect food safety and animal welfare.”
Leading animal protection and food safety organizations worldwide encourage a switch to cage-free eggs, which are less cruel to animals and safer for consumers. On caged egg farms, each egg-laying hen is confined in a cage so small she can barely turn around for nearly her entire life. Research by the European Food Safety Authority and others has found that cage-free egg farms are up to 25 times less likely to be contaminated with key salmonella strains than hens raised in cages. Battery cage egg production has been banned throughout the European Union as well as in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Canada, India, and parts of the United States.
Demand for cage-free eggs is flourishing in the Philippines, spurred by consumer demand for healthier options and concern for animal welfare. In recent years a growing list of restaurant, hospitality, retail and packaged foods brands have pledged to use only cage-free eggs in the country. In response to the growing shift, in 2020 the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS) initiated the development of a national Code of Practice (COP) for Cage-free Egg Production, a comprehensive set of animal welfare guidelines for the growing cage-free egg sector.
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