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On Saturday, 24 February 2024, SAFCEI in collaboration with Treeshake, hosted the Cage-Free Community Indaba at Bertha House, Mowbray in Cape Town. 

This greatly successful Community Indaba brought together members of SAFCEI’s Earthkeepers’ Fast Action Network’s (FAN) and various members of the public with an interest and experience in the cage-free movement, alongside informative guest speakers. This diverse group of attendees provided unique insights and thoughts through  engaging discussions.  

The discussions were centered around our need for a holistic approach towards animal justice and the need to remember that caged hens are sentient beings who deserve to be treated better and our united voices as a community are important in fostering the change in the production system. Tessa Nathan who is a member of the Earthkeepers’ FAN shared that all great changes start with the community. These sentiments were supported by another Earthkeeper, James Madikizela who shared the need for a collaborative effort to call corporations to account and be transparent about their cage-free policies. Tessa also shared a beautiful Instagram reel of the Indaba after the event. 

The Indaba was about reinforcing our advocacy agenda by discussing the significance of collaborative action, social activism and strategic engagement. We were fortunate to receive spiritual guidance for our event from one of our Earthkeepers, Cele Esau, who is a Leader for Social Justice at the Cape Town Unitarians. Cele provided spiritual guidance, highlighting the fact that all living beings are part of God’s creation and we are all interconnected.

Our speakers were social activist Zackie Achmat and Michaela Tafani, Programme Lead for Corporate Accountability Programme at Animal Law Reform South Africa (ALRSA). 

Zackie, well known for his Treatment Action Campaign and spoke about how it is our collective responsibility to advocate for better conditions for those who are vulnerable. Caged hens are the most vulnerable and Zackie reminded us that freedom is not achieved until we are all free, highlighting the need to collectively intensify the cage-free movement.

Michaela’s presentation was centered around how ALRSA makes use of the law and policy to promote corporate accountability in the egg industry, and provided key discussions on the lack of transparency by stakeholders in the egg supply chain. ALRSA is a fellow member of the Open Wing Alliance (OWA) and as the event highlighted the significance of collective action and collaboration, it was such a huge honour to have ALRSA be a part of this event.

Michaela spoke about ALRSA’s accountability report titled ‘LAYING DOWN THE FACTS: Animal Welfare Standards of the Companies Providing your Favourite Foods,’ which ranks companies according to their cage-free policy and adequate reporting. She shared that City Lodge showed a positive attitude regarding animal welfare, transparency and accountability. 

As a next step, SAFCEI has started our outreach to celebrate corporations for their good practice. We call on our Earthkeepeers to help us celebrate these corporations for their efforts. You can do this by sharing our social media posts and tagging those who have gone cage-free.

Keep your eyes on our social media pages (@SAFCEI) for announcements regarding #CageFreeSA events and campaign activities.

If you have not yet signed up to be a part of our Earthkeepers’ Fast Action Network, you can do so by following this link and filling out the form.

By Zwelisha Shobede



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