GLOBAL - Animal welfare group Compassion in World Farming (CiWF) has suggested a switch to higher-welfare broiler farming might follow the recent cascade of announcements to move to cage-free egg production.
The organisation said that Compass Group USA and Aramark (also in the States) have pledged to use 100 per cent slower growing chickens, at reduced stocking densities and with environmental enrichment by 2024. Earlier in the year Whole Foods Market became the first major food business in the US to support a commitment to slower-growing breeds and better living conditions for chickens by 2024.
The recent cage-free egg revolution began in the US with McDonald’s and Walmart pledging to only use cage free eggs in their outlets by 2025. This created a domino effect with almost 200 other US companies from across all sectors following their lead, while in the UK pledges from Tesco, Aldi, Asda, Morrison’s, Lidl and Iceland came in rapid succession.
In July food service business Sodexo announced a global cage-free commitment for both whole and liquid eggs by 2025, which was followed in September by a similar pledge from their competitor Compass Group.
CiWF is hoping a similar domino effect will occur in the chicken meat industry, following these initial announcements of movements to different chicken farming standards.
"Will the US lead the charge on broiler welfare as it did on cage-free egg commitments? We certainly hope that the UK arms of the Compass Group and Aramark will see fit to follow suit and start another wave of higher welfare company commitments across Europe," said Dr Tracey Jones, Director of Food Business at CiWF.ThePoultrySite News Desk