Grocers, Processors Sign on to 'Better Chicken Commitment'

Aug. 24, 2021
Animal welfare standards are gaining broad support.

Sprouts Farmers Market on Aug. 24 became the fifth grocery chain to adopt the Better Chicken Commitment to improve the treatment of chickens raised for meat in its supply chain. Processors are on board, too.

The Phoenix-based but national natural foods chain joins Kroger, Giant Eagle and Natural Grocers, all of which joined this month, as well as Whole Foods Market, which has been committed for some time. The retailers join more than 200 major U.S. food companies, according to The Humane League, including Nestlé, Kraft Heinz, Burger King and Chipotle.

The Better Chicken Commitment, developed by The Humane League and other organizations, is a set of science-based animal welfare standards for improving the lives and conditions of chickens raised for meat (broiler chickens). Components include:

  • A switch to higher welfare breeds.
  • A transition away from the standard ("yet cruel and dangerous") method of slaughter called live-shackle slaughter.
  • More space in the barns and pens.
  • Enrichments to promote natural behaviors.
  • Third-party auditing

Sprouts' commitment, typical of the other commitments, includes a timeline for achieving the goals ranging from 2024 through 2026.

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