Summary of key points:

  • To streamline cage-free commitments in Africa as part of effective animal advocacy in the world.
  • Create a producer’s directory for sourcing in Africa
  • Train farmers in higher farm welfare practices
  • Research centre to inform stakeholders on policy regarding farm animal welfare

Africa’s egg production is predominantly from caged farming, with only 40% of eggs being cage-free in 2020, according to FAOSTAT.  About 80% of commercial hens are kept in cages in Northern and South Africa, with the caged numbers also rising in other African countries. With a rising population and a growing middle class, Africa’s egg market is expected to grow annually by 11.26%, 3.5% more than the global egg market growth within 2023-2027. 

Africa has about 550 million layer hens, with a commercial supply of two-thirds of egg consumption. The region's exponential growth in the poultry industry is expected to continue due to the rising middle class and rapid urbanisation. Many global and multinational corporations are responding to this by rapidly expanding their operations to and within Africa. “Walmart to open more stores in Africa via Massmart..” and “KFC to expand in Africa but it lacks only one thing: Chickens” by the Financial Times in 2015 and 2016 respectively. “Famous brands continue expansion in Africa” by CNBC Africa, 2015. 

Cage-free commitments are relatively low in Africa compared to other regions. One of the most cited reasons by multinational and local companies is the lack of sustainable cage-free products in my outreach to global companies present in Africa. At present, the Open Wing Alliance has a cage-free producers directory for all the regions in the world except Africa. 

A model farm is of immense importance as it will provide practical training in best practices in cage-free management, serve as a reference farm for cage-free producers to visit, and serve farmers, auditors, veterinarians and other industry stakeholders across Africa. Consolidating and training egg producers in high-welfare production will alleviate the needless sufferings thousands of millions of chickens will face in Africa. 

 The model farm will thus serve as Africa's research and development centre, informing policy formulation and legislation. As part of its goals, the farm will develop and consolidate a cage-free producer’s directory in Africa, which is currently a bottleneck to cage-free commitments in the region with international and local companies to streamline cage-free policies to improve animal welfare. Corporate cage-free commitments will not be sustainable in Africa without a reliable egg producers directory.




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This could align well with Charity Entrepreneurship's current consideration of ideas in preventive animal welfare, specifically 'Limiting the intensification of factory farming in LMICs'. Let me know if you'd like help reaching out! (I'm not sure who the lead researcher is for that idea, but know CE well)

Hi Ben, I will be open to talking to CE's researcher on this. Appreciate the introductions.

I'll get in touch and DM you.

Thank you for addressing the urgent need to improve animal welfare in Africa's egg industry!

Creating a cage-free producer's directory seems like a low-hanging fruit that could have a significant impact in streamlining cage-free commitments in the region.

The rapid growth of commercial interest in Africa's poultry industry is concerning, and it presents a crucial moment for effective action. Just like the early stages of factory farming in the US, this is an opportune time to prioritize resources and make a lasting difference. Treating it as a second chance to reverse the momentum of industrialized animal agriculture is of utmost importance. Thank you for highlighting this issue!

Do you know if any specific organizations or individuals who are trying to create this model farm and/or directory?

Hi Constance, I totally agree with you that the time to act is now and with regards to specific organizations, Animal Welfare League has started working on this in Ghana. We have created a cage-free farmers directory that consists of farmers who adhere to cage-free minimum welfare standards and pledged to ensure the welfare of their birds are met at all times. 

We have also been up-skilling some staff in cage-free productions virtually with the Global Food Partners and hope to secure funding to take them through the physical training at the Global Food Partners Cage-free facility.

We particularly view a producer’s directory pertinent to an improved chicken welfare across Africa and with experiences from leading Open Wing Alliance’s (OWA) Africa outreach to global companies in Africa, we firmly believe that a producer’s directory with a corresponding cage-free model farm will serve as a practical demonstration farm for training producers especially transitioning cage farmers. This model farm will also be a research station that will provide context relevant layer hen welfare improvement data points to enrich the cage-free campaign in Africa


Thanks for your thorough response, Jacob! I don't see the cage-free directory published on the website. Is it just not ready or is it just complete and private or am I just not looking in the right place? I'm also curious to know what the biggest bottlenecks for your projects are.

Hi Constance, I think is only Animal Welfare League in Ghana currently doing this in Africa. More details about the work in Jacob’s reply above 👆🏾

This is a fantastic post. I strongly believe a model farm would be great for the cage-free movement in Africa. Nice one!

Woa this is cool.

Global Food Partners created a producers directory called for Asia sellers. GFP has done a lot of work to reach out to sellers for it, maybe useful to chat with gfp more about what it is and if it could be useful for Africa. (note: I am the web developer of cagefreehub)

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