We see great prospects in bringing our campaigns to other countries. After establishing a foundation in Poland in 2017, we are looking into expanding to other countries as well.
Our Polish foundation Fundacja Alberta Schweitzera is primarily responsible for corporate outreach – in other words, entering into negotiations and dialogue with food industry companies with a view to raising animal welfare standards in the supply chain as well as expanding and improving vegan product ranges. The primary goal of our animal welfare team was to end the practice of keeping laying hens in cages. In 2018, they also addressed the issue of banning the sale of live carp with supermarkets and wholesale companies. Another important topic that we’ll turn our attention to soon is the European Chicken Commitment in order to improve conditions for broiler chickens.
Our team in Poland is also responsible for establishing a Polish version of the Vegan Taste Week.
The beginning of the end of cage eggs
Our team in Poland – in some cases in collaboration with the Polish animal welfare organisation Otwarte Klatki – has secured 40 public commitments from food business companies. Among them are four supermarket chains (PHU Topaz, Arhelan, Polomarket, Żabka) and one wholesaler (Eurocash) who have made public commitments to switch to cage-free eggs by 2025 at the latest. In addition, Lubella – Poland’s biggest pasta manufacturer – and pasta producer Makarony Czanieckie, as well as the restaurant chain Baltona, will be discontinuing the use of cage eggs from no later than 2025.
The deadlines for making the switch to cage-free eggs may seem long, but alternative farming practices are not very widespread in Poland, meaning that the vast majority of eggs are still the product of battery farms.
Securing commitments is therefore just the first step. Beyond this, it is essential for us to hold companies accountable to the commitments they have made.
Conflicts with companies during our cage-free campaign
Sometimes, communications with companies don’t always go quite so smoothly. One Polish company recently had its lawyer threaten a lawsuit against the Fundacja Alberta Schweitzera if it publishes anything about the company and does not immediately desist all contact. But this company, like others, eventually discovered that its attempt at intimidation was ultimately fruitless. On our Polish website, we named this company as one that we believe uses cage eggs. The company’s response was swift, announcing that it would no longer be using cage eggs.
Ending the sale of live carp
Together with two other animal welfare organizations in Poland, CIWF Polska and Viva, we founded an alliance to combine our forces to end the sale of live carp. Meanwhile, two supermarket chains, Tesco and Auchan, as well as wholesale company Selgros have stopped selling live carp.
Vegan Taste Week
The Polish version of the website and the Vegan Taste Week online programme finally went live in April 2018 under the name Tydzień na Weganie (“Vegan Week”).