Animal welfare: progress plan

I. Context

Globally, 70 billion of animals are raised every year to feed humans with meat, milk or eggs (1). Without fundamental changes in our food model, global demand will increase by 25% between 2015 and 2030, driven by population growth, the increase of disposable incomes and daily calorie intakes in industrial countries. We can observe that intensive breeding is mainly providing this demand. In recent years, intensive animal production has grown twice as fast as traditional mixed farming systems, and six times faster than pasture-based production (1). Intensive livestock farming now represents 70% of global livestock farming (2).

Withfin context, respect for animals and their sensitivity is a growing concern of civil society, supported in particular by NGOs. Among the variety of views expressed, many denounce some of breeding system and slaughter methods for their inadequacy for animal welfare. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), animal welfare is a common good that is part of sustainable development of the livestock sector. It is linked to food safety and quality, human and animal health and rural development. Animal welfare can thus be beneficial for producers their animals and more widely for society.

In several countries, consumer expectations are changing and environmental expectations from our customers are increasing. New directions are appearing, such as reducing the quantity of meat consumed, the choice to replace meat intake with vegetable proteins or to turn to products from farming methods that are more respectful of animals and consistent with a vision of sustainable breeding. These changes in purchasing behavior are rapid, it is necessary to initiate changes with sector professionals.

II. Our ambition

Carrefour has been engaged for several years in a process of improving animal welfare in its supply chains. This is based, among other things, on the “five fundamental freedoms” which are adapted to the different farming methods:

Freedom from hunger and thirst:absence of hunger, thirst or malnutrition. Animals must have access to fresh water and adequate food for their good health and vigor.

Freedom from discomfort: adapted housing, absence of climatic or physical stress. Animals must have an appropriate environment, including shelter and a comfortable rest area.

Freedom from pain, injury or disease:animals must benefit from prevention, rapid diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Freedom to express normal behavior:possibility to express normal behaviors, specific to each species. Animals must be provided with sufficient space, an environment appropriate to their needs, and be in contact with other congeners.

Freedom from fear and distress:Breeding conditions and practices must not induce psychological suffering for animals.

In order to mobilize the Group and its suppliers of own-brand products around guidelines and targeted objectives and to encourage each player to deploy a process of progress, the Carrefour Group defined an animal welfare policy in 2019. In following logic of co-construction of initiatives, the Carrefour Group has set itself 10 priorities to target concerning the animal sectors that are detailed in the animal welfare policy. The 10 priority objectives are as follows:

1. Fight antibiotic resistance and ban antibiotics for growth promoters。

2. Ban cloning and genetically modified animals and seek diversity biological.

3. Transform cage farming and restrict animal confinement.

4. Minimize stress during transport and slaughter.

5. Limit controversial practices (castration, tail docking, trimming, etc.) and optimize systematic pain management.

6. Ask for an adequate diet.

7. Require health monitoring.

8. Ban animal testing (cosmetics, drugstore and cleaning products).

9. Ban materials of animal origin not from livestock whose primary objective is to produce food.

10. Improve comfort through habitat

With this animal welfare policy, the Carrefour Group intends to best meet societal expectations concerning animal sectors. This progression process is driven by continuous improvement in partnership with all stakeholders related to these issues.

III. Carrefour Taiwan: our goals and achievements

What we have done:

– Support cage-free hen farming: In addition to establishing designated cage-free zones in Carrefour stores, we have launched Carrefour brand cage-free eggs (2019) and Carrefour Quality Line free range eggs (2020). We will source 100% cage-free shell eggs for Carrefour brands by 2025, and aim to reach this goal for national brands in the same timeframe.
– Encourage farmers to decrease in antibiotic use and improve animal welfare through our quality line. We are working on the reduction or elimination of antibiotics for each of the animal products in the Carrefour Quality Line, for example Australian beef without growth hormones, milkfish without antibiotics, eggs without antibiotics during the laying period, and pork without antibiotics after 14 weeks of age. We also launched a blockchain management system that allows complete antibiotic traceability and follow-up on our CQL pork.
– Protect global biodiversity and wild animals by supporting environmental friendly farming practices. For example, banana farming practices that protect cat leopards, or Zhuluo tree frog-friendly baby corn.

IV.What we would like to achieve :

– Deploy in 2020 an action plan that covers each of 10 Carrefour’s animal welfare priorities and reflects the steadfast commitment of Carrefour Taiwan to respecting the dignity and welfare of farm animals.
-Inform each Carrefour brand farmer and supplier of Carrefour’s support for animal welfare and 2021 animal welfare policy, and require its implementation.
-Support local traditional farming by launching a Carrefour Quality Line free range native chicken (2021).
– Support the creation and deployment of animal welfare certification for pork (2022) and animal welfare scorecard for dairy cows (2021) in partnership with EAST NGO, and support efforts to promote the certification scheme.
– CQL pork: source a new supplier with group housing for sows and support evolution of current suppliers to comply with animal welfare standards.
– Include checkpoints for animal welfare at slaughter in our Carrefour Quality Line audit to ensure the slaughter process complies with animal welfare standards and animals are unconscious at the time of killing. Conduct a screening of all Carrefour brands.
– Provide customers diverse vegan food options.
– Continuously support environmentally-friendly agriculture to protect biodiversity, for example promoting Green Conservation Certificate products, or supporting products that protect bees.