Major food service companies announce significant animal welfare commitments to impact broiler chickens
Compass Group USA and Aramark, two leading food service management and support services companies, are working with suppliers to commit to healthier, slower-growing chickens by 2024
Last week, farm animal welfare was in the spotlight as major food service companies announced commitments to work towards sourcing chicken meat from suppliers that ensure more humane conditions and improved treatment of the animals.
Compass Group USA has partnered with the animal welfare certification program Global Animal Partnership (GAP) to transform the welfare of approximately 60 million chickens per year within Compass’ supply chain. Compass commits to enforce a buying requirement that includes certification under GAP’s 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating program for 100 percent of their business by 2024. This will include enrichment, a minimum space requirement and use of approved genetic strains.
Aramark is calling on its suppliers to implement additional humane conditions for its broilers by 2024. This announcement furthers the animal welfare policy the company instituted in 2015 that requires suppliers to provide environments based on the Five Freedoms of animal welfare, a set of animal welfare principles including freedom from hunger and thirst; discomfort; pain, injury, and disease; fear and distress; and freedom to express normal behavior. Compliance with Aramark’s new broiler requirements would include ensuring use of slower-growing chickens, additional space allowance, enrichment provisions and evaluation of other environmental conditions including litter quality, lighting and air quality.
The announcement that industry leaders like Compass Group USA and Aramark are putting farm animal welfare at the forefront of their company policies demonstrates an enormous shift in the food industry. The world consumes 61 billion chickens every year. Most – a massive 43 billion – are housed in systems that cause rampant animal welfare problems including severe lameness, weak bones, and overworked hearts and lungs.
“We welcome the commitments of these industry leaders and the impact it would have on millions of chickens raised for global consumption each year,” said Priscilla Ma, U.S. Executive Director of World Animal Protection.
“Factory-grown chickens suffer tremendously for most of their short lives, and consumers are often completely unaware of the horrific conditions they experience. We hope that other corporations will follow Compass Group USA and Aramark’s example with commitments to animal welfare policy improvements and public transparency on progress made.”
You can help
Consumers have the power to move the world for animals. People just like you have influenced major businesses, including Nestlé and McDonald’s, to pledge to use eggs from cage-free hens. Together, we can also improve the welfare of meat chickens.
Higher-welfare indoor systems are already in use. These kinder systems mean slower-growing birds with more space and natural light to allow for a better quality of life.
Major companies like Compass Group USA and Aramark are already making commitments that will impact millions of chickens for better. Now we’re asking KFC, one of the world’s biggest fast-food companies, to be a global leader and support the welfare of chickens. Sign our petition to ask KFC to help end the secret suffering of chickens.