Food Businesses make progress towards the Better Chicken Commitment, latest ChickenTrack Report reveals

Tuesday, 29. March 2022 10:00

New York City, NY, March 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The third annual ChickenTrack report released, today, by Compassion in World Farming highlights the progress made by leading food businesses in pursuit of the Better Chicken Commitment (BCC). The report shows that some of the nation’s largest food companies have begun to make improvements in broiler chicken welfare by reducing stocking densities and providing enrichments so birds can rest and express natural behaviors, in anticipation of a looming 2024 deadline.

This year’s ChickenTrack includes company reporting for the first time, celebrating the progress made amidst the challenges of lockdown measures and supply chain disruptions. The 12 companies included in the report—Applegate, Blue Apron, ButcherBox, Cafe Spice, Farmer’s Fridge, Natural Grocers, Sprouts Farmers Market, Square Baby, Sweetgreen, The Cheesecake Factory, Thrive Market and Whole Foods Market—have demonstrated an understanding of the importance of transparency by publicly reporting their progress towards the BCC.

“At Whole Foods Market, we’re proud to have long maintained rigorous Quality Standards across our store, including industry-leading animal welfare standards in our Meat Department,” said Carol Medeiros, Vice President of Quality Standards at Whole Foods Market. “We take the issue of broiler chicken welfare seriously and sincerely appreciate the important work of Compassion in World Farming. We’re proud of the progress we have made and look forward to continuing to work with Compassion in World Farming and stakeholders across the industry to raise the bar for animal welfare and responsible sourcing practices.”

“As the industry shifts towards a minimum standard of welfare for broiler chickens, transparency and public reporting will become increasingly important. ChickenTrack captures the valuable progress being made towards higher welfare chicken and helps ensure that companies are moving forward together, easing the economics of the transition for all,” said Ben Williamson, U.S. Executive Director, Compassion in World Farming. “To enable this work, several food businesses have participated in pro-competitive collaborative efforts, such as the U.S. Working Group for Broiler Welfare.”

In 2021, the U.S. Working Group for Broiler Welfare was formed to provide an opportunity for companies to collaboratively approach how to improve broiler chicken welfare through the lens of the BCC. Facilitated by Compassion USA and Blue House Sustainability Consulting, the seven member companies include Aramark, Compass Group, Nestlé USA, Panera Bread, Shake Shack, Sodexo and Target.

The Working Group has come together to explore practical strategies and creative solutions that will enable them to progress toward their commitments, shifting broiler chicken supply chains in a way that meaningfully improves welfare. Compassion USA anticipates the efforts and learnings of this group will create positive momentum and motivate widespread progress among the more than 200 U.S. brands that have committed to improving their welfare standards in alignment with the BCC.

“Bringing restaurant leaders together in the Working Group will help us collaborate and innovate across all parts of this important transition—from impacts on farmers to measurement of animal care,” said Sara Burnett, VP of Food Values, Sustainability & Public Affairs, Panera Bread. “These discussions will help us as we continually strive to provide responsibly raised proteins.”

Compassion USA’s team of food business managers and animal welfare specialists are working with others to dig into the research, answer questions and raise the standard of chicken welfare. For more information or to schedule an interview, please email Ronnika.McFall@ciwf.org.

About the Better Chicken Commitment (BCC):

ChickenTrack is Compassion in World Farming’s assessment of the progress made by leading food businesses against their commitments to source higher welfare chicken. For the first time, this year’s report includes companies’ public reporting on progress they have made in pursuit of the BCC. The BCC is a science-based policy designed to address the four most significant welfare concerns negatively impacting broiler chickens under today’s production practices. There are two versions of the North American BCC developed for food companies in the U.S. and Canada. The two versions of the policy language address the same welfare concerns but allow for flexibility in the way that companies roadmap their supply chains to meet the BCC and then later show continued compliance. Follow the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at #ChickenTrack. To learn more, visit www.chickentrack.com.

About Compassion in World Farming:

Compassion in World Farming is a global farmed animal protection organization that campaigns peacefully to end factory farming and replace it with a food system that is compassionate, fair, and sustainable for all. The charity is dedicated to reforming a broken food and farming system and introducing a more humane, fair, and sustainable one. Compassion engages with the world’s leading food companies to create and adopt meaningful animal welfare policies while tracking progress against those commitments to ensure compliance. It works tirelessly towards a better future for animals, people, and the planet by educating concerned consumers and supporting meaningful public policy. With headquarters in the U.K., we have offices across Europe, in the U.S., China and South Africa. To find out more about Compassion in World Farming or join the movement, visit: ciwf.com and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

 

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Ronnika A. McFall
Compassion in World Farming USA
6317108224
ronnika.mcfall@ciwf.org
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