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Lever Helps AEON Malaysia Develop Progressive, Multi-Species Animal Welfare Policy
Lever Helps AEON Malaysia Develop Progressive, Multi-Species Animal Welfare Policy

“Animal welfare is deeply related to the relationship human beings have with animals. It is our duty to ensure all animals are treated humanely, responsibly, and with respect” – AEON Malaysia

AEON represents many things to the average Malaysian:  retail giant, supermarket chain, and credit service provider. With 92 supermarkets across the country, the company is one of the largest retailers in Malaysia and a household name across Asia. Now AEON Malaysia has also become the pioneer of what is believed to be the most comprehensive farm animal welfare policy of any mainstream retailer globally, thanks to Lever Foundation.

AEON’s New Policy for Farm Animals

After working with AEON Malaysia for a year regarding its use of caged eggs, Lever suggested the company consider a more comprehensive farm animal welfare commitment. Lever drafted a detailed policy and helped educate the company’s sustainability, procurement, and investor relations teams on the relevant welfare issues and how other leading global food companies were addressing them. Eventually, in late 2022 the company adopted and in January of 2023 publicized its landmark new policy,

Under its new animal welfare guidelines, AEON will phase out cages for laying hens globally; require all broiler (meat) chicken suppliers to meet Better Chicken Commitment standards by limiting stocking densities, providing suitable and enriched environments, and meeting additional standards; prohibit crate confinement for pigs; and avoid painful mutilations for all species.

The policy also uniquely covers fish and crustaceans (both wild-caught and farm-raised), with suppliers required to monitor water temperature, flow, oxygen, pH, ammonia, carbon dioxide and disease daily; limit stocking densities; and adopt less-cruel capture and slaughter methods. Including fish and crustaceans is particularly valuable given Asia is the world’s largest producer and consumer of seafood. The company also committed to issue by the end of 2023 timelines for achieving these new standards across its supply chain.

As with similar multi-species commitments generated from JDE Peet’s and Restaurant Brands International, Lever used engagement with AEON Malaysia on the cage-free egg issue to serve as a stepping stone for leading the company to adopt a broader farm animal welfare policy. AEON’s landmark multi-species policy will significantly improve the living conditions of millions of animals once implemented, and it sets a new benchmark for other retailers around the region (and globally) to follow.


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