Malaysia-based retail chain AEON Co. (M) Bhd (AEON or the Company) won praise today for publishing a comprehensive new animal health and welfare policy that protects the “Five Freedoms” of animals in the company’s supply chain, from egg-laying hens to cows, chickens and fish. The Company, is a leading General Merchandise Stores (GMS) and Supermarket chain in Malaysia, with 28 AEON Malls, 34 AEON Stores, 9 MaxValu Prime, 65 AEON Wellness and 42 DAISO and 4 Komai-so across the country.
The Company believes that animal welfare is deeply related to the relationship human beings have with animals and agrees that it is every retailer’s duty to ensure all animals are treated humanely, responsibly, and with respect.
The policy, drafted with the support of the international NGO Lever Foundation, will require animal protein suppliers to end the use of cages and crates, limit stocking densities, provide suitable environments as well as meet additional standards set by animal welfare experts. AEON is working closely with its suppliers to ensure the new standards and guidelines are met within the next 12 – 18 months. AEON noted that the new animal health and welfare policy is an essential step towards protecting farm animals in its supply chain, thus meeting the growing expectations of customers who demand higher standards of animal welfare.
“We applaud AEON Malaysia for this new holistic set of standards that will further improve the welfare of egg-laying hens, chickens, cows, fish and other animals in the company’s supply chain,” said Vilosha Sivaraman, Sustainability Program Manager at Lever Foundation, which worked closely with AEON on drafting the policy. “Many food companies in Malaysia are upgrading their animal welfare policies in response to increased consumer interest in more humane, sustainable and safe products, and with its new policy, AEON has established itself as a leader in this area.”
A study by Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) found that the humane treatment of animals is a critical component of the country’s growing green foods movement, with 91% of consumers believing green foods can and must prevent unnecessary animal suffering. Another study from the international academic journal Animal Welfare found that Malaysian consumers strongly support greater farm animal welfare protection.
AEON Malaysia’s animal health and welfare policy is available here.