The pecking order 2021 report: Global fast-food restaurants are failing chickens
For the third year in a row, we’ve rated eight global fast-food companies on how well they treat their chickens around the world. The 2021 results are in...
This year, our report includes country-specific scores, so you can see how companies are faring in Canada compared to their affiliates in other countries.
Some companies are making good progress, but many brands show no ambition to improve standards, subjecting chickens to unnecessary suffering and cruelty.
The pecking order assesses fast-food giants against three criteria:
1. Policies (Corporate commitments):
Does it clearly state how important the welfare of chickens is to them?
2. Targets (Objectives and targets):
Does it have a defined timeline that demonstrates the objectives, targets and promises a company has made to improve chicken welfare and when they will meet them?
3. Reporting (Performance reporting):
Does it report on performance to show how the company is living up to its promises?
Our methodology is aligned with the well-known Better Chicken Commitment, which details a set of higher-welfare standards that hundreds of companies around the world have now signed up to. Based on their score, the companies are assigned tiers from 1 ('Leading') through to 6 ('Very poor').
See the scores:
The KFC global score is an improvement on last year but only eight European countries have strong commitments. This isn't enough. Every KFC franchise needs a decent chicken welfare policy.
Pizza Hut have gone up two grades this year from XXX to XXX, but they have only improved their policies in the UK and Europe. Pizza Hut must make a global commitment to improve chicken welfare.
'Getting started' is much better than last year’s 'Very poor' grade. Burger King has a strong policy in the UK and some policies in the USA and Canada that could be better. But in the rest of the world, their policies are weak or barely exist. Burger King must stop buying from farms where chickens are kept in low welfare conditions.
Nando's improved their score after thousands of people campaigned with us to secure a promise from Nando’s UK to stop sourcing their chicken from factory farms. They must go further and make this promise worldwide.
‘Getting Started’ is a better grade than last year’s ‘Poor’ but it is still not good enough. McDonald’s should do better for chickens in their supply chain.
Subway's score decreased this year, but they are talking about improving chicken welfare in the US which is positive. But this doesn't go far enough. Worse still their Canadian commitments have disappeared.
Starbucks has scored points for their strong policy in the US, but Starbucks has never reported against their progress in the three years of the assessment.
Domino's PLC has been in the bottom for three years. This is shameful and unacceptable.
It’s barely believable but Domino's Pizza Inc have failed to get any points for the third year. Their score this year is the worst ever. This is shameful and unacceptable.
Canada places sixth out of the 14 countries included in the assessment, with an average company score of 16%. Five of the eight companies assessed have shamefully received the lowest score possible – ‘Very poor’. Nando’s scored ‘Poor’ while McDonald’s and Burger King are showing some improvements with a score of ‘Making progress’.
Table 17 from The pecking order 2021 report: company results snapshot for Canada.
Spotlight on McDonalds Canada:
Although McDonald’s Canada has adopted a more humane slaughter system for chickens in Canada, the full list of requirements that align with the Better Chicken Commitment must be adopted to end the suffering of factory farmed chickens and give these animals a good quality of life. These include:
More space to move around and interact with their environment
Providing birds enriched environments including litter, lighting, and enrichments such as perches and hay bales
Implementing a controlled-atmosphere stunning system for slaughter
Demonstrating compliance with all standards via third-party auditing
Adopting breeds that demonstrate higher welfare outcomes
KFC Canada is lagging far behind its European affiliates:
KFC Canada is one of the brands that received a score of ‘Very poor’ score, while KFC affiliates in other countries having made substantial commitments to improve chicken welfare. The United Kingdom, Denmark, The Netherlands and Sweden have all committed to standards outlined in The Better Chicken Commitment (European version).
Despite multiple attempts to meet with KFC Canada to discuss the welfare of chickens in their supply chain, we have not yet heard from them on this important issue. As one of the largest fast-food restaurants in the world, with a focus on serving chicken meat, the public expects KFC to be a responsible company, and that means having minimum standards for chicken welfare.
Please tell KFC Canada they must follow the leadership of their peers and adopt the Better Chicken Commitment policy to make life better for chickens in their supply chain.