Momentum for higher welfare broiler chicken grows as nine leading food businesses join the U.S. Working Group for Broiler Welfare
New York City, NY (Aug. 25, 2022) — Nine new leading food businesses join the U.S. Working Group for Broiler Welfare, bringing the group to 16 members. The doubling of members demonstrates the drive of food businesses to achieve higher welfare practices for broiler chickens based on consumer and investor demand. The Working Group now includes Applegate, Aramark, Compass Group, Earth Animal, Giant Eagle, HelloFresh US, Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon, Nestlé USA, Panera Bread, Pret a Manger, Sprouts Farmers Market, Natural Grocers, Shake Shack, Sodexo, Target and Whole Foods. Collectively these businesses purchased over 540 million pounds of chicken in 2021.
Facilitated by Compassion in World Farming and Blue House Sustainability Consulting, the Working Group aims to support food businesses in exploring workable strategies and creative solutions for transitioning supply chains through the welfare standards outlined in the Better Chicken Commitment (BCC). Jointly, the Working Group members stand to improve the lives of over 111 million chickens annually.
The Working Group is collaborating with Perdue Farms, the fourth largest chicken producer in the U.S., to assist members in meeting their animal welfare commitments over the next few years. Since 2016, Perdue has continued to make improvements, shifting broiler chicken supply chains to improve welfare standards in alignment with the BCC as consumers increasingly desire these products. The company was the first major poultry company to install a Controlled Atmosphere Stunning unit, which provides a more humane slaughter method than traditional practices and has plans to convert other facilities.
Many of Perdue's Animal Care practices are aligned with the Better Chicken Commitment core tenants. As part of Perdue's commitment to continuous improvement, we will continue in our collaboration with Compassion in World Farming and this Working Group to ensure that existing and future new customers can offer products from animals raised according to BCC committed standards in order to meet the demand.
Bruce Stewart-Brown, SVP Technical Services and Innovation, Perdue
Core to our mission is procuring high-quality and responsibly sourced ingredients but creating systemic change as an individual player that doesn't raise or process chicken can be challenging. As a member of this Working Group led by Compassion in World Farming, we look forward to partnering closely with our peers and engaging suppliers in ways that will accelerate the implementation of the BCC.
Jeff Yorzyk, Director of Sustainability at HelloFresh US
The Working Group is developing needed tools to assist us in our commitments and work from communication fact sheets to auditing and labeling protocols. We appreciate the candid conversations with Compassion in World Farming and other members about common challenges and potential solutions, which help to inform our strategy and approach and to educate other companies in our industry as well.
Kristen Smith, Director of Sustainability, Earth Animal
The Working Group came together in 2021 to explore practical strategies and creative solutions that will enable member companies to progress toward their commitments. Compassion USA anticipates this group's ongoing efforts and learnings will continue the 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 leading food businesses together in the Working Group allows for real collaboration, innovation and progress toward higher standards of welfare for the more than 9 billion chickens raised in the U.S. annually. The expansion of the Working Group reflects the desire for meaningful change in how we treat the planet's most-farmed animal. In addition to our many new food business partners, we are thrilled to collaborate with several top chicken producers, such as Perdue, who are leading the way in animal welfare practices.
Tessa Hale, U.S. Head of Food Business, Compassion in World Farming
At Whole Foods Market, we've long maintained rigorous Quality Standards across our Meat Department and take the issue of broiler chicken welfare seriously. We sincerely appreciate the important work of Compassion in World Farming, and we're excited to join the Working Group to share what we've learned about raising the bar for broiler welfare and to join with others in pushing for systemic change.
Karen Christensen, SVP of Merchandising for Perishables, Whole Foods Market
Compassion USA's food business managers and animal welfare specialists are working with others to dig into the research, answer questions and raise chicken welfare standards. For Working Group membership information, email Tessa.Hale@ciwf.org.
For more information or to schedule an interview, please email Ronnika.McFall@ciwf.org.
Notes to Editors:
Blue House Sustainability Consulting is led by Mindy Gomes-Casseres, an expert with more than 20 years of experience in helping global Fortune 500 companies craft leading sustainability strategies and communications.
Compassion in World Farming was founded in 1967 by a British dairy farmer who became horrified at the development of intensive factory farming. Today Compassion is a global movement dedicated to ending factory farming and achieving humane and sustainable food. With headquarters in the U.K., we have offices across Europe, the U.S., China and South Africa. To find out more about Compassion in World Farming, visit www.ciwf.com.
The Better Chicken Commitment (BCC) is a science-based policy designed to address the four most significant welfare concerns negatively impacting broiler chickens under today's production practices. Two versions of the North American BCC developed for food companies in the U.S. and Canada address the same welfare concerns but allow flexibility in how companies roadmap their supply chains to meet the BCC and later show continued compliance. To learn about Compassion in World Farming's assessment of the progress made by leading food businesses against their commitments to source higher welfare chicken, visit www.chickentrack.com.
Ronnika A. McFall, APR
Media Relations Manager
Compassion in World Farming USA