Kraft Heinz, parent company of Oscar Mayer and Lunchables, has joined the group of companies pledging to source its broiler supply from producers that adhere to standards set by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) or the Global Animal Partnership (GAP).
The company announced its broiler welfare commitment on October 27.
In a press release, Kraft Heinz, stated that it will work with its suppliers and the industry at large to achieve the following by the year 2024:
- Source 100 percent of our chicken via breeds approved by the RSPCA or GAP for measurably improved welfare and quality of life
- Provide birds with more space to perform natural behaviors, including a stocking density no greater than 6 pounds per square foot
- Provide birds with better environments, including litter, lighting and other enrichments that align with GAP's environmental standards
- Implement a multi-step, controlled-atmosphere processing system
- Demonstrate compliance via supplier verification or third-party auditing, and communicate progress as part of regular sustainability reporting
“When we issued our global animal welfare policy earlier this year, we underscored our commitment to the humane treatment of animals, and said we would prioritize continuous animal welfare improvements throughout our supply chain,” stated Michael Mullen, senior vice president of corporate and government affairs at Kraft Heinz. “Today, we’re delivering on that promise by joining the food industry in an effort to advance the well-being of broiler chickens in our supply.
“Extensive changes such as these require significant investment of time and resources, industry-wide. We recognize the complexity of this undertaking and look forward to collaborating with our suppliers, the food industry and other stakeholders to advance these ambitious goals in a way that is sustainable for our collective businesses.”
In the press release, Josh Balk, Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) vice president of farm animal protection, praised Kraft Heinz, saying “improving animal welfare is a core part of being a successful food company.”