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Thai retailer Tops converts to group housing for sows

Tops, a premium supermarket chain in Thailand, has announced to phase out selling pork from sows kept in sow stalls during gestation.

The company announced this in a press release this month.

Tops supermarkets is a grocery chain which belongs to Central Food Retail, a subsidiary of the Central Group. The Central Group is well-known for its Central shopping malls, located all over Thailand in most major cities, often including a Tops retail shop. In total, there are 109 Tops supermarket shops nationwide.

Central Food Hall converts as well

Also part of Central Food Retail is the Central Food Hall, and this chain also announced to gradually phase out pork meat from sows that were kept in stalls during gestation. The Central Food Halls are an upmarket supermarket and restaurant chain which can be found in 8 of the 32 Central shopping malls.

Tops supermarket stores can often be found in Central outlets or near shops of Robinson’s. Photo: Shutterstock
Tops supermarket stores can often be found in Central outlets or near shops of Robinson’s. Photo: Shutterstock

According to the press release, both outlet types would like to have completed the conversion by 2027. The press release stated that by then “all pork meat will be supplied only by suppliers that adopt the practice of sows in enriched group housing.”

Selling natural pork for 10 years

In the same press release, Tops supermarkets refers to the fact that it has been selling natural pork under the brand name Natural Meat for 10 years now and it has observed a growth of 10-15% annually. According to the press release, its free-range pork “contains less fat, is free from toxic chemicals, antibiotics and hormones and are fed with a balanced herb diet”.

Find more about pork production in Thailand in our World of Pigs tool

Earlier recent converters on the Thai market included the agribusiness giants Betagro and Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF), which announced the start of a conversion more recently.

In adopting the new welfare standards, the company follows a campaign initiated by animal welfare organisation World Animal Protection, called ‘Raise Pigs Right’. In the press release, Tops announced ‘full support’ to the campaign.

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