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About Chickens

Chickens are sentient beings who deserve a good quality of life and a humane end. That’s why the Better Chicken Commitment (BCC) was developed, providing five clear steps to raise welfare, and let chickens be more chicken.
broiler chickens in a higher welfare indoor system

Chicken Welfare: Urgent need for change

Worldwide, chicken meat production and consumption continue to increase year on year. An estimated 70 billion chickens are slaughtered annually for meat, with over two-thirds being fast-growing breeds raised in barren, overcrowded sheds. The problems with intensive chicken production are well documented and include a plethora of health and welfare issues that are associated with fast-growing breeds, a lack of space provision, no access to natural light or enrichment and outdated stunning systems.

Breeding for fast growth rate, high meat yield and feed efficiency, results in lethargic birds with poor walking ability who spend most of their time (85%) sitting doing nothing instead of behaving like chickens who naturally like to perch, peck, forage, scratch and play. Many fast-growing birds suffer from heart defects, organ failure, compromised immune systems, muscle diseases, high rates of leg and foot lesions and musculoskeletal problems. All of this means that most broiler chickens have a poor quality of life from start to finish.

Better Chicken Commitment

The Better Chicken Commitment (BCC), also known as the European Chicken Commitment (ECC), was developed in 2017 by a coalition of NGOs in Europe. It is a comprehensive set of science-based criteria that will, when used as a complete package, significantly improve the welfare of broiler chickens. Compassion in World Farming has been working with companies throughout Europe to encourage them to sign up to the BCC and commit to achieving the following by 2026:

  • Adopt slower growing breeds with improved welfare outcomes
  • Implement a maximum stocking density of 30kg/m2 or less
  • Provide a least 50 lux of light (including natural light) and an enriched environment (with 2m of usable perch space and two pecking substrates per 1,000 birds) to enable expression of natural behaviours
  • Adopt Controlled Atmosphere Stunning (CAS) using inert gas or multi-phase systems, or effective electrical stunning without conscious inversion1
  • Demonstrate compliance with the above standards via third-party auditing and annual public reporting on progress towards this commitment

To date, over 380 companies have signed up to the BCC in Europe, committing to offer their customers only higher welfare products from healthier, happier chickens. ChickenTrack was launched in 2021 as a tool to monitor, encourage and celebrate progress towards this goal.

For companies with a Halal requirement in their supply chain, their commitment should be accompanied by the Statement of Intent.

ChickenTrack 2023

Following two successful ChickenTrack reports in 2021 and 2022, we now present the findings of ChickenTrack 2023.


Executive Summary - ChickenTrack 2023

Read the report here

This year, we have developed an online tracker, where company progress, as well as sector and in-country statistics, are available to view:

ChickenTrack 2023 - Highlights

  • 85 companies included in ChickenTrack:
    • 80 companies signed up to the BCC (1 of which is a Producer)
    • 5 producers committed to supplying BCC-compliant chicken
  • 55 companies reporting on their progress
  • 30 companies not reporting
  • 8 countries included in the reporting
  • 7 companies report 100% compliance with at least one of the BCC criteria:
    • Danone Group - Natural Light
    • Marks & Spencer - Natural Light, Enrichment, CAS Slaughter (as well as 100% BCC compliance on fresh chicken)
    • Monoprix - Breed
    • Nando’s - Natural Light and Enrichment
    • Norsk Kylling - all criteria
    • Schiever Distribution (France) - Stocking Density, Breed, Natural Light
    • Waitrose - Stocking Density, Natural Light, Enrichment, CAS Slaughter
  • 2 companies with public roadmaps:

ChickenTrack 2023 - Results by Sector

Of the 85 companies committed to the BCC:

  • 33 are from the Retailers & Meal Kit sector, 21 of which are reporting on transition progress. Highlights include:
    • M&S is reporting on Natural Light, Enrichment, CAS Slaughter. M&S is the only UK retailer that is 100% compliant with the BCC for all its fresh supply, and is working towards 100% compliance for its whole supply by 2026. 
    • Carrefour (Poland) reporting for the first time across Stocking Density (28%), Breed (28%), Natural Light (28%) and CAS Slaughter (38%)
    • HelloFresh is reporting for the first time across Breed (19%), Enrichment (29%) and CAS Slaughter (43%); the full scope of this reporting can be viewed in the dashboard
    • Schiever Distribution for 100% transition in its first year of reporting across Stocking Density, Breed and Natural Light
  • 14 are from the Food Service & Hospitality sector, 8 of which are reporting on transition progress. Highlights include:
    • Accor (France) reporting for the first time across Stocking Density (34%), Breed (19%), Natural Light (31%), Enrichment (16%), CAS Slaughter (24%) and Third-Party Auditing (22%)
    • API Restauration reporting on transition progress for the first time on Natural Light (55%) and Enrichment (33%)
    • Quick (France) reporting 50% transition progress on Natural Light in its first year of reporting
  • 23 are from the Restaurant sector, 15 of which are reporting on transition progress. Highlights include:
    • Flunch (France) reporting for the first time across Natural Light (43%), Enrichment (43%) and CAS Slaughter (71%)
    • TGI Fridays (UK) reporting for the first time on Natural Light (80%) and Enrichment (80%)
  • 9 are from the Manufacturing sector, 6 of which are reporting on transition progress. Highlights include:
    • Premier Foods reporting on transition progress across Stocking Density (45%), Enrichment (45%) and CAS Slaughter (99%)
    • Unilever is reporting an 18 percentage point increase in progress on Stocking Density and Breed, and a 10 percentage point increase in progress on Enrichment from last year
  • 6 are from the Producer sector, 5 of which are reporting on transition progress. Highlights include:
    • Fileni reporting for the first time on Stocking Density (19%), Breed (28%), Natural Light (17%), Enrichment (17%) and CAS Slaughter (19%)
    • LDC reporting on transition progress across Stocking Density (23%), Breed (26%), Natural Light (52%), Enrichment (53%) and CAS Slaughter (41%)

ChickenTrack Methodology

In line with the requirements of the BCC, signatories must publicly disclose and update their progress annually against all criteria. Public disclosure indicates that a company holds itself accountable for the commitments it has made, communicating to investors, customers and other key stakeholders that it takes its social responsibility targets seriously, and can demonstrate progress to BCC compliance.

Companies included in ChickenTrack 2023 were selected based on their geographic relevance, size and ‘chicken footprint'. ChickenTrack shows company progress (as percent transition) against each criterion, or as an overall percent transition to BCC compliance depending on how the company chooses to report. Each sector reports information uniquely, depending on the remit of their operations, which prevents direct comparison of progress across sectors.

For chicken producers, companies included in ChickenTrack have either a full commitment to the BCC (Norsk Kylling), a partial commitment to convert some of their supply (Galliance and Fileni) or a commitment to supply BCC chicken to customers on request (2 Sisters, LDC and Plukon). The inclusion of leading European producers in ChickenTrack demonstrates there is availability of BCC products.

All information in ChickenTrack is based on this publicly disclosed information, such as on the company’s website, its animal welfare policy or ESG/CSR report, or in a press release.

Publicly disclosed data for ChickenTrack is valid for a two-year period to allow for variances in reporting periods and deadline (historically 30th November).

Percent transition against each criterion: stocking density, breed change, natural light and enrichment provision, humane slaughter and third-party auditing, is encouraged as most companies do not progress each criterion at the same rate. Some companies report on progress to BCC compliance across all criteria; this is then categorized as ‘overall transition’.

An example of a good reporting structure would be as follows:

Eng Accordianblock2

Once data is collected and verified, transition averages by criteria and sector are produced. There are currently five company sectors in ChickenTrack:

  • Retailers & Meal Kits
  • Food Service & Hospitality
  • Restaurants
  • Manufacturers
  • Producers

For Retailers & Meal Kits, commitments are made for own-brand chicken and cover 100% fresh, frozen, processed and ingredient in the UK. They also cover 100% fresh, frozen and processed containing >50% chicken in all other countries except Belgium, where only fresh and frozen chicken is covered in the commitments. For companies reporting on some but not all chicken categories included in their commitment, we record their transition as ‘partial reporting’.

Compassion encourages all retailers to extend the parameter of their commitments to also cover processed products containing >50% chicken.

For Food Service & Hospitality and Restaurants, commitments are made for 100% BCC-compliant chicken across all categories, however companies may only report on fresh, frozen or processed products. When this is the case, this is recorded as ‘partial reporting’.

The following definitions apply to the Retailers & Meal Kit category only:

  • Branded: Everything that is sold under an industry name
  • Own brand: Brands directly owned by the retailers including tertiary and no-name brands.

The following definitions outline the different categories of chicken relevant for Retailers & Meal Kits, Food Service & Hospitality and Restaurants only:

  • Fresh: Whole chickens, breast, leg or thigh meat, or other cuts (unfrozen)
  • Frozen: Whole chickens, breast, leg or thigh meat, or other cuts (frozen)
  • Processed (includes ingredient): Forms of chicken that have been modified (including salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, boiling, frying, battering, breading). E.g., sandwich meat, nuggets, sausages, burgers.

Working with Compassion

Having public-facing commitments to change are important first steps for any company and we encourage those yet to join the Better Chicken Commitment to sign-up.

However, mapping out a route to implement the change, and importantly acting on it, is vital if we are to make higher welfare chicken the baseline standard. It will require working with all stakeholders (both internal and external) involved in the supply chain. Procurement and supply chain teams are central to the commitment delivery, however responsibility for implementation does not sit solely with this team. Strategic alignment, across not only Buying, but also Finance and Marketing Teams is essential for efficient and effective execution of how and when the Better Chicken Commitment is integrated into a supply chain. This alignment and strategic integration must be proactively developed and established.

Compassion works with companies from sign-up to having BCC-compliant product on shelf. If you need help or want to join our broiler forums and working groups, please get in touch.

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If you have any further questions regarding this, or any other matter, please get in touch with us at We aim to respond to all queries within two working days. However, due to the high volume of correspondence that we receive, it may occasionally take a little longer. Please do bear with us if this is the case. Alternatively, if your query is urgent, you can contact our Supporter Engagement Team on +44 (0)1483 521 953 (lines open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm).