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Better Chicken






Meat chickens are the most farmed land animal in the world. Seven billion are reared in Europe every year, and 90% of these are crammed into barren sheds.

Chickens can feel emotions just like us, such as pain and fear, so regularly suffer in these harsh conditions.

The problem - overcrowded sheds

Intensively farmed chickens are packed into overcrowded sheds - often with little or no natural light and only litter on the floor. They dislike being crammed together and will compress their feathers to avoid touching one another.

A lack of stimulating materials mean they spend most of their time inactive and bored.

The solution - room to breathe

A chicken’s life is transformed when they are given more space, natural light and can do what comes naturally: pecking, scratching, wing flapping and perching.

In the best systems, they have separate places to rest, feed, drink and play – and can go outside for fresh air and sunlight.



Most chickens are bred to grow so quickly they can struggle to walk and can develop serious heart conditions.


Chickens are healthier, happier and more active when they are bred to grow more slowly and have the space and stimulation they need to behave like chickens.


The problem - trapped in oversized bodies

Intensively farmed chickens can struggle to walk and become lame. Many develop heart conditions making them even more inactive and prone to metabolic problems.

High body weight causes their muscles to degenerate – which also reduces the quality of the meat.

The solution - a natural, healthy size

Slower growing breeds means:

  • Chickens have more natural proportions and are able to walk more easily
  • Chickens have stronger hearts and better resistance to disease
  • Chickens have stronger, healthier muscles which provides good quality meat



The majority of meat chickens are bred to grow so fast they're ready for market as early as 33 days old. This is exhausting for them and leads to serious health problems.


Selective breeding to create fast growing animals, and their poor living conditions, means antibiotics are often routinely used to combat disease. 

 The problem - unhealthy for chickens and consumers

Poor immune systems and living conditions allow bacteria to flourish, which can lead to a greater risk of food poisoning

Antibiotics are routinely given to chickens to survive poor welfare systems, when they should only be given to sick animals.

The quality and nutritional content of intensively farm chicken meat is also poorer.

The solution - healthier chicken, better for customers
12Broilers Eligibilitycriteria (1)

Making sure chickens don’t grow too fast and have better living conditions dramatically reduces the need for antibiotics. As a result fewer chickens become infected with harmful bacteria.

Using higher welfare chicken means you can offer better quality meat and healthier, more nutritious food to your customers.

Higher welfare chicken is:

  • Better for chickens - they are more active and healthy in higher welfare systems
  • Better for health - less disease and reduced risk of food poisoning
  • Better for your customers - higher quality, more nutritious food



Windstreek broiler barn system.jpg

To date, more than 1.88 billion animals are set to benefit from our corporate partners' higher welfare policies, practices and commitments - 88% of these animals are broiler chickens.

We are calling on food businesses to offer chickens a better life, with:

  • Better genetics for improved quality of life
  • More space to live
  • Natural light, perches and pecking substrates to stimulate behaviour
  • Humane slaughter
  • Compliance with a meaningful third party animal welfare certification and annual reporting

Due to the increase in consumer demand for higher welfare products, food industry leaders have already started stepping up for chickens in a major way – and hundreds of millions of birds will live better lives in the future as a result.

In the US, over 130 companies have already made a public commitment to provide better welfare for broilers and European companies are getting on board too by joining the European Chicken Commitment.



KFC Logo
Iconic chicken brand, KFC has publicly committed to sourcing their chicken to higher welfare standards by 2026, in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden and Germany.


Greggs New Logo New Canvas

High street bakery chain Greggs signed up to the Better Chicken Commitment in August 2020 to further strengthen their animal welfare credentials. 


Nandos Oct 18 1024X659

In July 2020, Nando’s formally released their public commitment to raise chicken standards across their UK and Ireland supply chains.


Pizza Express

Pizza Express joined the growing number of companies in the restaurant sector to sign up to the Better Chicken Commitment in July 2020.


Waitrose has signed up to the European Chicken Commitment, and already provide their chickens with more space, natural light and a rich environment.



M&S has signed up to the European Chicken Commitment across 100% of their fresh and ingredient chicken offer. 


Unilever Logo

Unilever’s commitment covers all its bouillons and soups – a truly phenomenal commitment given that the chicken is for ingredients in products where its power in the supply chain is limited. 


Nestle logo 175px

By 2026, all Nestlé food products that use chicken as an ingredient in Europe will move to the higher welfare standards as set out in the European Chicken Commitment.



Casual Dining Group (CDG), the leading UK restaurant group, has publicly committed to introduce higher welfare standards for chickens across their entire business portfolio including: Café Rouge, Bella Italia, Las Iguanas, La Tasca, Huxleys, Oriel Grande Brasserie and Belgo.

Hellofresh Logo

Global meal kit provider HelloFresh joined the industry move for higher welfare chicken in May 2020.



Meal kit retailer Gousto signed up to the BCC at the end of September 2020.



Yo Sushi Logo Logotype

High street Japanese food chain, YO! Sushi signed up to the Better Chicken Commitment in January 2020.



Contract caterer CH&CO has committed to meet all the standards set out in the European Chicken Commitment for 100% of the chicken in its UK and Ireland supply chains, by 2026.


Rema 1000_portrait.jpg

Norwegian supermarket chain REMA 1000 Norge AS has successfully implemented the higher welfare requirements of the Better Chicken Commitment working closely with its chicken producer Norsk Kylling. Read the case study here.


Norsk Kylling

Norwegian chicken producer Norsk Kylling produces chicken for REMA 1000 and signed up to the Better Chicken Commitment as part of their partnership. Read the case study here.


Compass Group

One of the largest global contract caterers, Compass Group, has made the pledge to transform the welfare of chickens by signing up to the 2026 European Chicken Commitment. They have also signed a similar pledge in the US to introduce higher welfare standards for broilers by 2024.



Sodexo has committed to source 100% of their chicken meat from systems compliant with the criteria set out in the European Chicken Commitment, across all of their European operations, by 2026.



Elior Group has committed to using only higher welfare chicken GLOBALLY by 2026. Read more here.



Danone, world leader in infant nutrition, has committed to improve broiler welfare across their entire European supply chain. Read more here.


Groupe Schiever Logo
French retailer Schiever announced its renewed commitment to improve the welfare of broilers in its supply in October 2020.



Fleurymichon Logocourt18 Quad[4]

Fleury Michon the leading manufacturer and distributor of pork and poultry delicatessen products in France signed up to the Better Chicken Commitment in September 2020.


E Leclerc Logo
Leading French supermarket chain E.Leclerc, which holds 21.4% of the retail market in France, signed up to the Better Chicken Commitment in September 2020.



Groupe Holder who owns the popular PAUL and Ladurée brands announced it's Better Chicken Commitment (BCC) in September 2020.



Monoprix is the first French retailer to sign up to the European Chicken Commitment and aims to meet the criteria for their own-brand chicken ahead of schedule, by 2024.


Aramark Jpeg

By 2026, Aramark will require all of its European suppliers to meet the new requirements for 100% of their fresh, frozen, and processed chicken, extending its US commitment for the humane treatment of broilers chickens.


Intermarche Logo Vector

Intermarché is the 3rd largest retailer in France with 15% market share. They have pledged to meet the higher welfare requirements for their Intermarché and Netto stores across all their fresh, frozen and processed chicken (containing over 50% of chicken meat) by 2026.


Franprix Logo

French retailer Franprix signed up to the Better Chicken Commitment in February 2020.



Auchan is the 6th largest retailer in France with 10% market share and has committed to introduce the new higher welfare requirements for their fresh, frozen and processed chicken (containing over 50% of chicken meat) by 2026.


Magasins U

Système U, the 5th largest retailer in France, has pledged to meet the higher welfare requirements of the European Chicken Commitment for all their own brand fresh, frozen and processed products (containing more than 50% chicken) by 2026.


Flunch Logo.Svg

French restaurant chain Flunch, which serves 54 million meals a year, has announced that all its restaurants in France will use chicken that meets the requirements of the European Chicken Commitment by 2026.


Loho Api

API Restauration, the fourth largest catering company in France has signed up to meet the ECC criteria by 2026.


Bertrand Restauration

Bertrand Restauration is part of the Betrand Group - one of the leading catering groups in France - and joined the Better Chicken Commitment in February 2020.


Sodebo logo 175 px

Sodebo, the No.1 manufacturer of ready meals and sandwiches in France, (with around 13% market share for their own brands) signed up to the European Chicken Commitment in November 2019.


casino groupe logo

Casino Group has pledged to meet the new higher welfare requirements across all their own label fresh, frozen and processed chicken (containing more than 50% chicken) by 2026.


French retailer Carrefour has committed to ensuring all its own label products containing more than 50% chicken will meet the Better Chicken criteria by 2026 at the latest.


Compassion is proud to have played an influencing role in securing these higher welfare commitments and due to market forces, other companies are following suit, including: Pret, Prezzo, Zizzi, Ask Italian and Coco di Mama.


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Find out more about our Good Chicken Award here.

Read the European Chicken Commitment overview here.

Also, watch the latest video of the Windstreek System that has been developed in The Netherlands which is a new, modern design of broiler shed, incorporating multiple features for improved welfare and sustainability. (You can also read a more detailed case study on this system here.)



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