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Chicken welfare boost in French retail sector

News Section Icon Published 28/10/2019

Système U, the 5th largest retailer in France (with 10% of the market share and over 1,100 stores) has joined Monoprix, Intermarché, Netto and Auchan in the recent wave of French retailers signing up to the European Chicken Commitment. Together this means that around 35% of the French retail market have now signed up to improve chicken welfare.

Système U was one of the first retailers in France to receive Compassion’s Good Chicken Award in 2017, for its commitment to improve the welfare conditions of chickens for its own label fresh chicken.

The retailer has now reinforced this commitment by pledging to meet the higher welfare requirements of the European Chicken Commitment for all their own brand fresh, frozen and processed products (that contain more than 50% chicken) by 2026.

At the same time, Système U has reinforced its 2025 cage-free egg commitment to include not only shell eggs but own-brand products too.

Dominique Schelcher, Système U’s CEO, commented: "Consumer expectations are changing dramatically, both in terms of product quality and production methods. Eating better means eating responsibly, and higher animal welfare is key. In full collaboration with our suppliers we are determined to change production methods to be in tune with societal expectations.”

Compassion has been supporting Système U in progressing its farm animal welfare strategy for more than two years and we welcome their approach of working closely with their supply chain partners to significantly improve their animal welfare standards.

It’s not only the French retailer sector that's creating change for chickens…………

Following its announcement in 2017 to only use cage-free eggs and egg products, French restaurant chain Flunch is continuing its efforts to improve animal welfare by signing up to the European Chicken Commitment.

Flunch, which has 255 restaurants and serves 54 million meals every year, has stated that by 2026, all its restaurants will use chicken that meets the higher welfare requirements. These include the use of slower-growing breeds, lower stocking densities on farm, enrichment and more humane slaughter methods.

The European Chicken Commitment also includes an external audit to demonstrate compliance with the standards and annual public reporting on progress.

Compassion hopes that this latest wave of higher welfare commitments will continue to inspire more and more players across Europe to follow their lead and create more positive change for chickens!