As Lever’s work stretches across oceans to sunny Malaysia, more hens within the region are also beginning to stretch their wings.

This is important news for egg-laying hens as Malaysia is the 11th biggest exporter of eggs in the world —making the nation a key exporter in the Southeast Asian region. Although several neighboring countries like Australia and New Zealand have implemented a ban on battery-cage egg production, battery cages aren’t on their way out in Malaysia just yet.

In a shocking investigation in 2019, Tesco Malaysia was found to be sourcing battery-cage eggs despite a public global commitment to sell only cage-free eggs. Tesco released a statement to say that local suppliers were unable to supply cage-free eggs as guidelines and regulations were unavailable.

Lever, alongside other farm animal protection organizations, banded together to work with Tesco to fix this. The result? One of the world’s leading retail chains announcing a plan to sell only cage-free by 2028 in its Malaysia and Thailand stores—making Tesco the first major retailer in Southeast Asia to adopt a 100 percent cage-free egg policy.

While this was a massive achievement, the team at Lever knew this was only the beginning.

In an effort to speed things up for more laying hens, Lever successfully worked with two Malaysia-based companies to eliminate caged eggs from their menus and supply chains.

Hatten Hotels Worldwide (HHW) is a key hospitality group in Malaysia’s tourist haven, Melaka. In March 2022, HHW committed to using only cage-free eggs in its F&B operations by 2025. The group’s hotels—Hatten Hotel Melaka, Hatten Place Melaka, and Estadia Hotel Melaka—will all be covered by the new policy. Thanks to Lever’s work, Hatten became the first Malaysia-based hotel chain to commit to a full shift to cage-free egg sourcing.

Shortly after Hatten’s landmark commitment, OldTown White Coffee, one of Malaysia’s largest kopitiam (coffee house) restaurant chains also pledged to end the use of cage eggs. The new policy —issued by OldTown’s Dutch parent company JDE Peet’s—will require egg suppliers to use cage-free production methods across all of OldTown’s over 230 outlets locally as well as in Singapore, Indonesia, and China.

Beyond the win for hens, the new policy also requires fish suppliers to avoid high stocking densities, use less-cruel slaughter practices, and regularly monitor for water quality and disease; require chicken suppliers to adhere to Global Animal Partnership animal welfare standards on stocking density, enrichment and litter; and require beef suppliers to prohibit tail docking and castration without painkillers and provide sufficient enrichment and litter.

These are the first two important victories for Lever Foundation in Malaysia with more expected as local consumers become more conscious about where their food comes from.


This work happened because of the support of people like you. Please consider donating today to build a more humane and sustainable protein supply in Asia.