Ø 2 Sisters now Europe’s biggest higher welfare poultry producer
Ø More than 20% of the 10.5 million chickens a week it produces now meet the 2026 ‘Better Chicken Commitment (BCC)
Ø This means birds have more space, are slower growing, and have better health outcomes
Ø 2 Sisters now a lead partner in new Marks & Spencer ‘Oakham Gold’ chicken range – a new higher welfare brand meeting BCC standards
2 Sisters Food Group can announce a significant milestone in the history of its poultry operations with more than 2 million birds processed every week now meeting higher welfare standards.
The Group’s poultry operations, which currently process more than 10.5m chickens every week in the UK and Europe, are now producing more high welfare chickens than at any other period in its history.
The current benchmark for higher welfare birds, known as the Better Chicken Commitment (BCC) - created by animal welfare NGOs in 2019 – is a set of six criteria that need to be met by 2026. These include:
- Compliance with all EU animal welfare laws and regulations
- Not exceeding a stocking density of more than 30kg per m2 – which is 30% more room than ‘standard’ protocols, giving chickens more room to roam
- Use higher welfare breeds of chickens that are grown more slowly
- Provide an enriched environment for the birds in barns
- Birds must be slaughtered using humane methods
- All companies must be third-party audited at regular intervals
Ronald Kers, CEO, said: “This is great news and a testament to all the hard work our farmers, processing operations and commercial teams are putting in. We want all our chickens to have as happy lives as possible. We’ve listened very closely to our customers – and also consumers – who tell us they want more options when it comes to higher welfare chicken as well.
“We’ll always produce the full range of products, ranging from organic, free range to standard birds, but as the years go by, more and more people are asking for higher welfare birds that are still competitively priced, and that’s what we’re proud to deliver to help feed the nation.”
The poultry operation’s agricultural team have been responsible for implementing the gradual change to higher welfare birds – a process which started more than two years ago across the estate of 60 higher welfare farms in the UK and 177 in Europe.
Agricultural Director Nick Davies said: “This is one of the biggest generational changes for a product offer I can think of in my career. I’m very proud to lead the agriculture team here at 2 Sisters to make all this happen, but it’s also down to the breeders, planners, farmers, processing sites and commercial teams for it to be delivered.
“It’s also fantastic that our customers have supported us through this journey and are now delivering ranges in partnership to their consumers that the now met the latest higher welfare, slower grown commitments, well ahead of when they’ve been asked to be implemented.”
2 Sisters’ commitment has been welcomed by the one of the UK’s most respected animal welfare organisations.
Mike Baker, CEO - RSPCA Assured said:"We're delighted to see 2 Sisters continue to increase the number of chickens they are farming to higher welfare standards. 2 Sisters are long-term partners of RSPCA Assured, working closely with us to drive chicken welfare forward and increase the availability of higher welfare options. We look forward to working with them as they continue to grow their RSPCA Assured offering."
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