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Silks Hotel Group advocates for sustainable animal practices in Taiwan

Silks Hotel Group advocates for sustainable animal practices in Taiwan
May 8, 2024

Silks Hotel Group (SHG), a multinational hotel chain based in Taiwan, which currently owns and operates the international luxury hotel Regent Taipei, is advocating for sustainable practices in Taiwan's livestock industry.

The hotel group has partnered with the non-profit animal protection organisation, Environment & Animal Society of Taiwan, and the Taiwan Mennonite New Dawn Educare Center for people living with physical or intellectual disabilities, to push for enhanced sustainability within Taiwan's livestock industry.

There is a grim reality that 70% of egg-laying hens in Taiwan are still subjected to cruel confinement in outdated ‘battery cage’ systems. This lifelong captivity denies hens their natural behaviours, leading to physical and mental health issues and fostering aggression among them.

The hotel group’s collaboration with the non-profit animal protection organisation was unveiled at a press conference in April, where SHG pledged to purchase free-range eggs as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts and in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SHG announced that by the end of 2026, all restaurants in Regent Taipei will fully transition to using free-range eggs, with other hotels in the group following suit, aiming to complete the transition annually. This initiative not only seeks to enhance conditions for egg-laying hens but also aims to cultivate a culture of compassion towards animals and the environment.

Simon Wu, Chief Operating Officer of Silks Hotel Group, emphasised SHG's long-standing commitment to environmental sustainability. Drawing insights from the Environment & Animal Society of Taiwan, SHG recognised the suffering endured by billions of hens in traditional battery cages, along with the health risks posed to both humans and animals, and the threats to environmental sustainability.

Subsequently, the group initiated discussions to implement new policies. Starting from 1st April, Regent Taipei began using EAST certified free-range eggs, sourced from New Dawn Care Farm, where hens are cared for by disabled employees. The hotel plans to gradually implement the use to free-range eggs throughout its food supply chain, starting at the second floor Gallery Lounge and Robin's Steakhouse and Teppanyaki, with an estimated total annual consumption of 52,000 kilograms across all its restaurants.

Chen Yumin, Deputy Executive Director of the Environment & Animal Society of Taiwan, noted that to address challenges and avoid economic losses, preventive antibiotics are routinely administered in hens’ feed, exacerbating medication issues for common diseases like respiratory, digestive, immune system, and skeletal problems prevalent among battery-cage hens. Consequently, mentally and physically compromised hens struggle to adapt to climate changes and disease threats, leading to mass culling due to illness and weakness, putting Taiwan at risk of prolonged egg shortages and the spread of zoonotic diseases affecting both humans and animals.

Furthermore, Regent Taipei introduced a special Mother's Day cake, "Strawberry Pistachio Mousse," which won the 23rd Gateaux Cup Taiwan Cake Skills Competition. This delectable dessert, made using free-range eggs, features layers of pistachio biscuits, Fruity Mona strawberry chocolate almond sponge, strawberry jam, pistachio mousse, and strawberry mousse, showcasing rich berry flavours and textures. The use of free-range eggs symbolises gratitude and respect for the hardworking egg-laying hens and brings us one step closer to environmental sustainability.

Regent Taipei adheres to a management philosophy that values harmony with humans, animals, and the environment, prioritises ingredient quality, and respects animal welfare. Starting in 2024, the hotel's specialty restaurants will switch to using free-range eggs, with full implementation expected by 2026. By 2030, all restaurants under the Silks Hotel Group, including those at Regent Taipei, will have embraced this approach. This effort is in line with global Sustainable Development Goals, showcasing their dedication as responsible global citizens.

Image. Yu-Min Chen, Deputy Chief Executive of EAST, presents an EAST Certified logo to a chef at the Regent Taipei.

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