Indonesian bakery group ramps up animal welfare stance with cage-free egg policy
Established in 2016 by Crystal Angsari, a pastry chef with training from Tsuji Culinary Institute (Osaka, Japan) and École Nationale Supérieure de Pâtisserie (Yssingeaux, France), Hokkaido Baby started out as a humble bakery that wanted to provide customers with Franco-Japanese desserts not commonly found in Indonesia.
The brand that introduced freshly-baked Japanese cheese tarts to Indonesia in 2016 is the first Indonesia-based bakery to commit to using only cage-free eggs.
However, it does join the growing moment of international brands pledging to use only cage-free eggs in the region, including Nestle, Unilever, General Mills, Krispy Kreme, Sunday, Dunkin Donuts, Pizza Hut and many others.
Battery cages are a housing system used for various animal production methods, but primarily for egg-laying hens.
Critics contend the system promotes severe animal cruelty – and even pose a significant food safety risk to human health – due to the lack of physical and psychological space for the hens; the dearth of exercise, resulting in a higher incidence of metabolic disorders; a higher incident of foot lesions; an absence of nesting and ‘dust bathing’ opportunities; and a general overall lack of other behavioural opportunities.
According to the Lever Foundation, an international animal protection NGO, cage-free eggs are higher in food quality. Cage-free farms also improve animal welfare conditions so that each egg-laying hen is allowed to exhibit natural behaviours and move around freely in their environment.
To-date, more than 30 countries have banned battery cages in the egg industry.
A kinder, sweeter world
“As a continuation of our commitment to being both eco- and health-conscious, Hokkaido Baby is committing to purchasing only cage-free eggs,” said Crystal Angsari, founder of Hokkaido Baby.
“We believe in reinventing ingredients for a kinder and sweeter world, and by using cage-free eggs in our desserts, we are not only creating healthier desserts for our customers but also bettering the lives of many hens.
“Even though the ongoing global outbreak of COVID-19 has severely impacted the food industry, Hokkaido Baby has remained committed to improving food safety and animal welfare in its supply chain.”
Encourage others to follow
The Lever Foundation has commended the bakery for its stance.
“We applaud Hokkaido Baby’s decision to switch to purchasing only cage-free eggs, which will help to protect animal welfare and ensure the highest levels of food safety and quality,” said Angela Wong, programme manager of Lever Foundation, which worked with Hokkaido to develop its policy.
“There has been a growing shift toward cage-free eggs in Indonesia, and we encourage other food companies to follow Hokkaido Baby’s excellent example on this important sustainability issue.”
The Lever Foundation is a global NGO, helping companies across Asia, Europe, North America and Latin America to upgrade their protein sourcing for a more humane, safe and sustainable supply chain, with a focus on cage-free eggs and alternative proteins.
Duncan, I. (2001). The pros and cons of cages. World’s Poultry Science Journal, 57(4), 381-390. doi:10.1079/WPS20010027