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KFC takes giant step for chicken welfare

News Section Icon Published 12/07/2019

Today (12 July), KFC publicly committed to sourcing their chicken to higher welfare standards by signing up to the Better Chicken Commitment in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden and Germany.

Renowned for their chicken (it’s in the name!), KFC will be looking to implement better standards for its broiler chickens by 2026 including more space (stocking density to meet 30kg/m2 or less), improved enrichment provision and healthier, slower growing breeds.

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KFC have fully embraced the need to improve the lives of the millions of chickens raised each year to meet the demands of its customers. Importantly, they have shown genuine determination to get this done, working with suppliers and franchise holders to support the commitment – which is set to benefit the lives of 72 million animals, predominantly sold across the 890 outlets in the UK and Ireland.

Paula MacKenzie, CEO of KFC UK & Ireland, said: “Signing up to the European Chicken Commitment isn’t just a box-ticking exercise for us, we’re doing this because we truly believe it’s the right thing to do. Chicken is our business and we have a responsibility as 'the' chicken brand, to make sure that we are pushing improvement to chicken welfare standards across our supply chain.

“Our business depends on the health, sustainability and reputation of chicken farming and, our customers care about improving the lives of the chicken we buy. That’s why we’re adding our voice to the campaign and encourage others to do the same – because to inspire real change and provoke meaningful action, we need the industry to move with us”

KFC have been working on their animal welfare credentials for a number of years. They secured a Good Egg Award in 2012 for their commitment to cage-free eggs, and have been steadily introducing natural light and enrichment to stimulate bird activity across their chicken supply chain.

More recently they have made impressive strides with their reporting and transparency surrounding their supply.

Today’s announcement is the biggest commitment to chicken welfare that the company has made to date!

Compassion’s Director of Food Business, Dr Tracey Jones, said: “It is fantastic to see such an iconic chicken brand boldly commit to such significant welfare improvements. Compassion has been working with KFC for nearly 10 years and we are delighted with their genuine desire to do the right thing, not only for the chickens in their supply, but for a wholescale market shift towards better chicken too.

“No company can lift the welfare of a nation's chicken on their own. We hope other companies will take confidence from this commitment and join the growing movement for higher welfare chicken.

“I wholeheartedly congratulate KFC for their commitment and look forward to working with them on the successful implementation of these higher welfare standards.”

KFC’s ongoing focus on animal welfare was recognised earlier this year when parent company Yum! Foods moved up two tiers in the global Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare.