SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa based fast–food chain operator, Spur Corporation, has committed to using only cage-free hens in its restaurants by the year 2025.

This follows three years of negotiations between the owner of Spur, Hussar Grill, RocoMamas, Panarottis and John Dory’s chains and the Coalition of African Animal Welfare Organisation (Caawo).

“This is a great victory for laying hens in South Africa. Caawo and our partners coordinated talks with Spur to voice our concerns about hen welfare and to ask for better welfare management for the chickens that supply the Spur Group with eggs.

“Thanks to this landmark agreement, the Spur Corporation will now spare millions of chickens the horror of being confined, unable to spread their wings and express normal behaviour,” said Caawo programme director Mandla Gqamlana.

Caawo aims to improve the lives of animals and humans by engaging and collaborating on issues of animal and human welfare with a network of communities, groups, corporations, government and other stakeholders.

The organisation advocates and lobbies for better laws relating to animals, and works to keep national animal welfare legislation updated.

“It is not always easy to enact significant change, but we believe it is important that companies act when it is the ethical and right thing to do.

“The Spur Corporation’s commitment to using only cage-free eggs by 2025 must be commended. It is a significant step towards improving the lives of millions of hens,” says Gqamlana.

Caawo has vowed to continue its effort in engaging with different stakeholders, including the government, South African Poultry Association, retailers, farmers and other stakeholders to highlight the plight of chickens and call for better welfare management to be put in place by 2025.

At 60%, poultry is the most consumed animal protein in South Africa, and with the CAGR for free-range chicken expected to continue in the double digits, there is still abundant scope and opportunity for growth.

Zebu Investment ventures into conscious consumerism market

Recently, Africa Food Security LP (AFS LP), the sophomore fund of Zebu Investment Partners GP Limited, took full ownership of Elgin Free Range Chickens Holdings (EFRCH), a leading South African vertically integrated free-range poultry operation.

As a way of providing ethically raised chicken, free of antibiotics and growth promoters, founder Jeanne Groenewald initially started supplying chickens to her family and friends in 1996.

Since then, she meticulously grew and developed the business into a leading supplier of the top retailers, food service companies and restaurants in South Africa.

The independent farming and food processing operation takes pride in meeting rigorous quality and ethical standards and has also successfully launched the Company’s own retail outlets in the Western Cape.

The equity buyout represents a new dawn for EFRCH and the opportunity to increase production capacity, geographical footprint, and continued high ethical and animal welfare standards.

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