Brazil is one of the largest economies and the fifth most populous nation in the world. It is also one of the largest global meat producers and exporters, which has made it a particular focus for our work. Over the last several years, our Humane Society International farm animal protection division has worked with large corporations and retailers to introduce and implement more humane policies for the welfare of animals in Brazil’s food supply chain.
This week, in yet another great advance, Walmart, the country’s third largest retailer, announced that it will sell only cage-free eggs by 2028 in all of its 471 stores in Brazil. This move has the potential to spare millions of egg-laying hens a life of extreme misery, in which they are confined in (battery) cages so small that the birds can barely move or stretch their wings. In 2016, Walmart made a similar commitment for its stores in the United States and Canada after working with us.
Among other successes in Brazil, last year, Carrefour, the country’s largest retailer, committed to sell only cage-free eggs in its 670 stores. Just yesterday, pasta and baked goods manufacturer M Dias Branco, which has 30 percent of the market in Brazil, announced a cage-free commitment by 2025. And earlier this week, Premier Pet, a major pet food company, announced a cage-free commitment for hens by 2025 – the first pet food company to adopt this policy in Latin America. Last year we worked closely with Premier Pet to launch its first dog food line made exclusively with cage-free eggs.
Other companies we’ve worked with to secure commitments for 100% cage-free policies include leading baked goods companies such as Bauducco, Casa Suíça, Grupo CRM, Casa de Bolos and Ofner, the country’s third largest pasta manufacturer J. Macêdo, Brazil’s largest gourmet chocolate chain Cacau Show, a major food service provider Grupo Lemos Passos and one of the largest food processors in the country, Aurora.
Multinational corporations, including Barilla, Cargill, Brazil Fast Food Corporation, International Meal Company, Arcos Dorados and Burger King, have also worked with HSI to announce cage-free egg policies in Brazil.
In addition to these cage-free victories, HSI has made tremendous strides in ending the use of cruel gestation crates in Brazil. This week, Pamplona, one of the largest pork producers and the fifth largest pork exporter in the country, committed to phase out the use of gestation crates by 2026. That commitment will alleviate suffering for more than 40,000 sows from this intensive confinement.
In 2014, we persuaded BRF, the country’s largest pork producer, to phase out its use of gestation crates, followed by similar commitments from JBS, the world’s largest meat processing company, Aurora Alimentos and Frimesa. These companies together account for 58% of the animals in Brazil’s pork supply chain, so the impact has been huge.
HSI and its partners are also working with more than 100 civil society groups, including environmental groups, health groups, consumer groups and animal protection groups, throughout Brazil to promote Meatless Monday to their constituencies, as a way to reduce the suffering of animals in factory farms.
We are excited by the progress we’ve helped to secure in Brazil and we congratulate Walmart, Premier Pet and Pamplona for their willingness to adopt reforms for farm animals. Increasingly, consumers are pressing for changes in how animals used for food are treated. Businesses that make the decision to end cage confinement and other objectionable practices are not only contributing to making our world a more humane place, they are also making a smart business choice that will pay off for years to come.