Major food businesses across Asia have pledged to only source eggs from cage-free farms and are only doing business with farmers who can meet this requirement. By transitioning to higher welfare cage-free housing systems, farmers can take advantage of this growing market opportunity, future-proof and remain competitive.

Cage-free production involves more than removing cages – good management in cage-free production systems is essential for a farmer’s success. Nevertheless, Global Food Partners’ (GFP) recent egg producer needs assessment survey in Asia found that producers are lacking localised and technical knowledge and support to navigate the transition and carry out cage-free production successfully.

Global Food Partners as launched the first-of-its-kind virtual cage-free training programmes in Asia.

To support food businesses and egg producers, GFP has launched the first-of-its-kind virtual cage-free training programmes in Asia, GFP Academy, with two virtual training courses: ‘Fundamentals: Cage-free Egg Policy Development & Implementation’ and ‘Cage-free Egg Production: The Basics’. These online training courses are aimed to support both sides of the supply chain and are important tools for both buyers and producers to continue advancing their responsible sourcing goals and production practices, despite travel restrictions and other logistical challenges that still exist due to Covid-19. Training materials have been developed by GFP’s team of experts who have extensive experience on-farm, and working with F&B/hospitality companies across the world. Here is an overview of the specifics:

Producer Training Course: “Cage-free Egg Production: the Basics”

This course is targeted at farmers looking to take advantage of the growing cage-free opportunities and optimise their egg production, flock health, and management practices.  Learning modules include introduction to animal welfare and cage-free farming; rearing, monitoring bird health and behaviour; biosecurity; disease prevention; and egg productivity.

The content has been developed by GFP’s science and technical team in collaboration with Netherlands-based Aeres University of Applied Sciences. The team from GFP and Aeres have decades of experience working with  poultry industries across the world on the adoption of best practices in cage-free egg production, including in India, China, Australia, Europe, and Vietnam. The team also has two PhDs in layer hen welfare and health, experience in delivering on-farm training and auditing in poultry welfare, and developing and delivering learning materials and poultry welfare standards.

The course is currently available in English, Mandarin and Thai and will be launched in Korean, Japanese, Bahasa Indonesia, and Russian this year.

The introductory course (7 modules) is currently free of cost, and the full-length course (23 modules) is priced at US$99/per user.

Corporate training course: “Cage-free Egg Policy Development & Implementation”

In response to consumer demand for higher welfare products, food industry leaders in Asia and worldwide have adopted cage-free egg policies, pledging to source only cage-free eggs throughout their supply chains. This course is targeted at food and hospitality businesses with cage-free egg sourcing policies and those looking to incorporate this policy into their CSR and sustainability initiatives, in Asia and globally.

 

The course provides companies’ staff with key information and tips to better understand and successfully implement their cage-free policies, and is recommended for different departments involved in this initiative, including CSR, sustainability, communications and marketing, and procurement.

Course content includes modules on Cage-free Basics, Communications & Reporting, CSR & Responsible Sourcing, Policy Implementation, which cover a wide range of topics from cost of cage-free, to effective communication with stakeholders, working with egg suppliers, progress reporting and certification.

The course is currently available in English and will be launched in Chinese and Russian by the end of October. It is priced at US$89/user and a video introduction is available here.