Big brands lead Nestlé push for higher chicken welfare standards in Europe

EU - Nestlé will help improve the welfare of millions of chickens used for food in Europe through its leading food brands 'Herta', 'Buitoni', 'Wagner' and 'Maggi'
calendar icon 29 June 2018
clock icon 3 minute read

Taking a phased approach, Nestlé will actively work with supply chain partners and stakeholders to improve living conditions for chickens, ensure the use of more humane practices and to reduce stocking density. By 2026, all Nestlé food products in Europe that use chicken as an ingredient will move to one higher standard for welfare as per the requirements set out in the European Broiler Ask (Better Chicken Commitment).

Improving animal welfare forms part of Nestlé’s efforts to use traceable and responsibly sourced ingredients in its products.

Commenting on the announcement, Nestlé Zone Europe, Middle East and North Africa CEO Marco Settembri said: “Consumers want to know where their food comes from and how it is made. As part of our commitment to source ingredients responsibly we will improve welfare standards for millions of chickens used in our food products in Europe, including our Herta, Buitoni, Wagner and Maggi ranges.”

Chilled meat brand Herta will make changes in its sourcing of chicken starting 1 January 2019, as part of the longer-term transition to higher welfare standards. These products will be available under the existing Herta 'Preference' mark in France.

Nestlé will engage suppliers and stakeholders to assess how chicken ingredients sourced for its Buitoni, Wagner and Maggi brands and entire food portfolio can meet higher welfare standards while maintaining consumer access to affordable, high-quality product choices.

This announcement builds on a pledge on broiler welfare made by Nestlé in the US last year and the company’s decision to source cage free eggs only on a global basis by 2025.

Ensuring decent welfare standards for animals in Nestlé’s supply chain is part of the company’s purpose of enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future.

International Head of Corporate Engagement for World Animal Protection, Martin Cooke said in a statement, “This commitment by Nestlé will be hugely beneficial to the welfare of chickens across Europe, and builds on the similar commitment Nestlé has already made in the USA.

“World Animal Protection has worked with Nestlé for a number of years to improve the lives of animals in its supply chains around the world. We are delighted that they have committed to making a better life for chickens. This move means more space for chickens to move around, enriched environments and natural light to promote exercise, stretch their wings and carry out normal behaviours.”

Find more information on today’s announcement from Nestlé

Ryan Johnson

Editor at The Poultry Site

Ryan worked in conservation from 2008 to 2017, during which time he operated a rainbow trout hatchery and helped to maintain public and protected green spaces in Canada for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. As editor of The Poultry Site, he now writes about challenges and opportunities in agriculture across the globe.

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