Eurovo drops supplier after our investigation
Following the investigation in which we documented the mistreatment of hens, the Eurovo Group informed us that it had definitively ended its supplier relationship with the company that owns the farms where the violence was filmed.
This news could have a positive impact on animals and on the movement that wishes to see their rights recognised. It is not a victory, as we would commonly call the achievement of an objective in a campaign to protect animals, or a political or cultural change that helps to save animals that were previously exploited, but it is nevertheless an event that must not go unnoticed.
How did it happen?
In October 2019, we released an undercover investigation carried out on various caged and ‘free-range’ egg farms, located in several provinces of Emilia-Romagna and owned by a single company that supplies brands of eggs that are commonly found at the supermarket, including Naturelle, a well-known brand of the Eurovo Group.
The investigation, carried out by our undercover investigator who was hired by the company, revealed violent behaviour by workers towards animals, both while they were being moved and when killing sick hens, some of whom were left to die in agony.
As a result of these images, which were also broadcast on several national news reports such as Tg1, Tg2 and Tg3, the Eurovo Group informed us that it had definitively ended its supplier relationship with the company that owns the farms. From a legal point of view, however, the activity of the judiciary continues, engaged in investigating all the aspects that we had highlighted in our statement, which refer not only to the conditions under which the animals were kept and the violent behaviour of the workers – documented on every farm owned by the company under investigation – but also to the alleged “organic fraud”. In one of the facilities where our investigator worked, the eggs were allegedly passed off as organic even though they came from free-range hens with no possibility of access to the outdoors
It might not be a victory, but it is good news.
The fact that large food companies are terminating their supply contracts with farms on which animal violence has been established serves as a warning to other farmers to refrain from illegal acts and cruel behaviour. And, given the brutality documented during our investigations, i.e. every time one of our investigators manages to get hired on a farm, the news cannot fail to have positive results for the animals.
One would think that ending the supplier relationship after the release of a video in which cruelty towards animals was filmed is the least that one could ask of these major food companies, but let us not forget that there are some companies which, like the Consorzio del Prosciutto di Parma (Parma Ham Consortium), after an investigation that documented violence against pigs at one of their suppliers, instead preferred to file a complaint against the organisers of Essere Animali for defamation in the press without bothering to publicly communicate any action against the farm under investigation, which we also reported to the Prosecutor’s Office responsible for the territory.
Some argue that animal rights organisations should in no way interact or engage with large food companies, as they are directly responsible for the exploitation of animals. Indeed, the Eurovo group is one of the main European leaders in the production and distribution of eggs and egg products.
At Essere Animali, we have chosen to enter into dialogue with everyone as we believe that a society free from the exploitation of animals can only be created with the involvement of the various players that make up our society. From people, who play a fundamental role in opening up towards a plant-based diet, changing the cultural paradigm that regards animals as producers of food for human beings. To companies, that on the one hand must immediately drop suppliers at which violence is documented and, on the other, can reconsider their farming methods in order to significantly reduce the suffering to which animals are subjected today, a commitment that we are also carrying out by means of our #SOSpig and #AncheiPesci (#FishToo) campaigns. Finally, to the institutions, whom we are calling upon for an urgent reform of animal protection laws by means of a petition launched alongside this investigation.
If we really want to free animals, we will need to achieve a synergy of forces from the bottom up, i.e. citizens and consumers, and from the top down, i.e. institutions and businesses, all of which will have to converge in the same direction.
Of course, it may seem paradoxical that an animal rights organisation is willing to deal with a company that is currently responsible for raising and killing millions of hens, but history has already shown that major food groups are not intrinsically attached to the production of animal products as much as they are attracted to the ability to make a profit.
Today, these steps forward could simply consist of an informed person who, after having seen our investigations, chooses to eliminate or drastically reduce egg consumption, or a termination of the supply contract with a farm that mistreats animals, but what they will represent tomorrow depends only on us and on our desire to free the animals.
Essere Animali was set up to get to the bottom of the matter and what we are adopting now is the strategy that we believe is the most appropriate to face a future full of challenges, in which the fate of billions of animals will be decided.
We will be there and are very clear about what we want to achieve.