Kraft Heinz raises the bar for the welfare of broiler chickens

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30 Oct 2017 --- The Kraft Heinz Company is expanding its current animal welfare commitments to include higher standards for treatment of broiler chickens in its US supply chain – and the move has gained praise from The Humane Society which applauds the food giant’s progress in breeding, housing and processing standards. 

Building on a commitment to improving welfare standards and humane treatment, Kraft is addressing the most pressing concerns related to poultry production by requiring a shift in how chickens are bred, housed and processed by Kraft Heinz suppliers.

“When we issued our global animal welfare policy earlier this year, we underscored our commitment to the humane treatment of animals and said we would prioritize continuous animal welfare improvements throughout our supply chain,” said Michael Mullen, Senior Vice President of Corporate and Government Affairs at Kraft Heinz. 

“We’re delivering on that promise by joining the food industry in an effort to advance the well-being of broiler chickens in our supply.”

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) applauds Kraft Heinz – which has also set more animal welfare targets over the next seven years – for making the commitment. 

“Kraft Heinz shows yet again that improving animal welfare is a core part of being a successful food company,” said Josh Balk, Vice President of Farm Animal Protection for The HSUS. “We applaud the company for its continued progress.”

Kraft Heinz will work with its suppliers and the industry at large to achieve the following by 2024:

  • Source 100 percent of chickens via breeds approved by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) or Global Animal Partnership (GAP) for measurably improved welfare and quality of life;
  • Provide birds with more space to perform natural behaviors, including a stocking density no greater than six pounds per square foot;
  • Provide birds with better environments, including litter, lighting and other enrichments that align with GAP's environmental standards;
  • Implement a multi-step, controlled-atmosphere processing system;
  • Demonstrate compliance via supplier verification or third-party auditing, and communicate progress as part of regular sustainability reporting.

“Extensive changes such as these require a significant investment of time and resources, industry-wide. We recognize the complexity of this undertaking and look forward to collaborating with our suppliers, the food industry and other stakeholders to advance these ambitious goals in a way that is sustainable for our collective businesses,” adds Mullen.

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