History in the Making: Brazil’s Biggest Supermarket Chain Just Committed to Banning Cruel Cages

Today Carrefour Brazil, the country’s leading supermarket chain, announced that it would stop buying eggs from caged hens. Confining hens in cages is one of the worst forms of animal cruelty in existence, and this commitment will help significantly reduce suffering for millions of animals. By 2025, all eggs from Carrefour’s own brands will be produced in cage-free systems, and beginning in 2028, 100 percent of the eggs marketed by Carrefour will come exclusively from these systems.

“With this commitment, we are taking an important step toward promoting sustainability along our supply chain, says Paulo Pianez, director of sustainability at Carrefour Brazil. “We understand that as a retailer we have the role of creating a valuable link between the consumer and the production chain, all of us collaborating to promote significant changes in consumer habits.” (MFA’s translation)

Caged hens are truly some of the most abused animals on the planet. Most are confined in crowded, barren wire battery cages where each bird’s floor space is smaller than the surface of an iPad. For nearly their entire lives, the birds can’t walk, spread their wings, or engage in any other natural behaviors. Many birds become tangled in cage wire or trapped under feed trays and often die from injury or starvation. Numerous Mercy For Animals undercover investigations have documented this unfathomable cruelty.

See for yourself.

This is the first time that a supermarket chain in Brazil has taken a stand against cages, but it certainly won’t be the last! A 2017 survey commissioned by MFA found that the vast majority of Brazilian consumers don’t support the intense confinement of farmed animals. After viewing images of caged hens, 82 percent of participants said the practice was unacceptable, and 71 percent said supermarkets and restaurants shouldn’t sell eggs that come from hens confined in cages.

In response to growing consumer concern, other major food companies in Brazil, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, Spoleto, GRSA, and Sodexo, have already pledged to stop using eggs from hens confined in cages. And more than 400 companies across the United States, Canada, Mexico, the U.K., Denmark, Germany, and other countries have also committed to ditching cruel cages in their supply chains. As consumer awareness continues to spread, the list of cage-free brands will only grow.

MFA applauds Carrefour Brazil for joining the ranks of grocers, restaurant chains, and foodservice companies that are leading this movement.

It’s a big step forward that will not only reduce suffering for millions of animals but potentially inspire positive change across the food industry in Brazil, one of the world’s largest producers of animal products.

To help us continue this momentum, consider joining the thousands of people taking one-minute daily actions to help millions of animals—become a Hen Hero today.

And remember, the only way to end the needless suffering of chickens and other farmed animals is to stop eating meat, dairy, and eggs. For helpful tips on leaving chickens and other animals off your plate, please visit ChooseVeg.com.