The number of companies committed to sourcing only cage-free eggs in China has tripled in the past three years, with close to 150 firms now pledging to do so by 2025 (or 2027/2030 for some), up from around 50 in 2020.
Cage-free eggs are produced by hens that are not raised in cages, whether indoors or outdoors. Globally, over 2,000 companies have committed to sourcing cage-free eggs and 150 of them are based or operating in China, including not only international brands like Unilever, Starbucks, Burger King, KFC but domestic companies such as Citysuper, Cityshop and Zoo Coffee, etc. These companies purchase large volumes of eggs each year, including shell eggs, liquid and powder egg.
Peet’s Coffee, when making its commitment, publicly stated that “Working towards making all our eggs cage-free, with the cooperation of our supplier partners, is important to our customers and us.”
“Sourcing only cage-free eggs is one of the practices of the Zoo Coffee brand concept. We will gradually implement it in other countries, starting from China,” said Li Jing, the founder of Zoo Coffee.
More and more egg producers are building large-scale cage free egg farms in China.
More and more egg producers have begun offering cage-free options because hens living in such environments are healthier and produce eggs higher in quality. In addition to the suppliers that produce only cage-free eggs such as Happy Eggs, Shaxi Pianguan Yongao, Xinde, larger traditional egg producers, including Tiancheng, Shendan, Ovodan, Hanwei, and Guangyang have also built cage-free egg farms.
Despite the sharp increase in cage-free production, food companies who buy cage-free eggs are not always aware of which egg suppliers can meet the cage-free volumes and formats that they need. In order to assist buyers in meeting their procurement needs, Beijing Egg Association and Lever China jointly host bidding events where qualified egg producers are invited to gain opportunities to supply the food companies who are in demand for cage-free eggs.
It is worth mentioning that besides existing cage-free egg producers, the bidding program also welcomes those who are planning to invest in cage-free production or who are interested in joint-venturing with buyers on building such farms.
“The aim of this bidding program is to procure cage-free eggs that meet safety standards and are in stable supply for buyers, and to ensure that supply and demand are matched in terms of logistics, packaging and delivery time, etc.," said Wang Zhong-qiang, Secretary General of Beijing Egg Association.
“We have seen that many egg suppliers are about to join the bidding program, ready to provide cage-free eggs of good quality and stable supply to buyers from retail, F&B, CPG, hospitality and food service,” said Huang Mu-tzu, Program Director of Lever China. She added: “The first bidding event where Lever and Beijing Egg Association will connect supply and demand will take place by the end of March. Companies interested in participating in the upcoming events, whether domestic or international are welcome to inquire with Lever and Beijing Egg Association.”
Beijing Egg Association was established in 2014, with the aim of bringing together all the key players in the egg production ecosystem in China to create more opportunities for the industry. Based in Shanghai, Lever China works with the companies who seek to upgrade their protein supply and make it safer and more humane. Additionally, they offer free consulting services to both food companies and egg producers, helping them shift to cage free.
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