Today, Compassion in World Farming released its fourth iteration of ChickenTrack.
This report captures annual progress of leading U.S. food companies against their pledges to improve broiler chicken welfare through the Better Chicken Commitment (BCC). This year's report is the largest since its inception in 2019, with 41 companies reporting major progress toward the BCC - triple the number of companies since last year’s report.
The Problem: Most Chickens Experience Poor Welfare
The United States is the leading nation for broiler chicken production in the world with more than 9.5 billion chickens grown each year. Most chickens in the U.S. are confined to barren, dimly lit, and overcrowded barns. Birds raised in these conditions grow so fast that many can only manage a few painful steps at a time with their heavy body weights.
The Solution: Adopting the Better Chicken Commitment as a Higher Welfare Baseline Standard
Luckily there is a solution. Over 230 companies in the United States have signed on to the Better Chicken Commitment, a science-based policy designed to address the most significant welfare concerns negatively impacting broiler chickens under today's production practices. The BCC criteria requires healthier breeds, enriched environments to better support the chickens’ natural behavior, more humane processing, and third-party auditing to certify these standards are met.
Consumers are demanding company transparency and investment in addressing the social issues they value, including farmed animal welfare. Therefore, companies are encouraged to commit to the BCC to build consumer trust in their brands. ChickenTrack 2022 highlights U.S. companies that are leading efforts to improve broiler chicken welfare and uphold their public-facing commitments to consumers – as well as those companies falling behind and failing to address the suffering of chickens in their supply chains.
In this year’s ChickenTrack, it is clear that 2022 was a year of progress for broiler chicken welfare. Forty-one U.S. companies - ranging from suppliers, retailers, restaurants, and meal kits, publicly reported BCC progress. This year’s report highlights progress for every reporting company, along with key U.S. industry trends, including:
- Nearly 20% of companies committed to the BCC are reporting progress. This is a 241% increase in reporting since the last ChickenTrack report.
- 51% of reporting companies are 100% compliant with at least one BCC component.
- 13 new companies have joined the US Working Group for Broiler Welfare, a group of leading food brands working collaboratively to facilitate the shift to full BCC compliance. 65% of these companies publicly reported BCC progress in 2022.
Compassion in World Farming is proud to announce that this year’s ChickenTrack is the first to feature public roadmaps to achieve full BCC compliance from five companies across different sectors. These roadmaps provide transparency to consumers, aid in promoting accountability, and align internal and external stakeholders on annual goals.
The Need for Meaningful Annual Progress & Accountability
With over 230 companies committed to improving broiler chicken welfare, there has never been a stronger need for companies to begin implementing the BCC standards and publicly reporting meaningful annual progress to meet their commitments.
Compassion in World Farming's Food Business team works collaboratively with food companies to help facilitate progress to meet the BCC standards. Whether it is providing technical resources or helping companies transition their supply chain, CIWF is committed to supporting companies on their path to making higher chicken welfare a reality.