2 Sisters Food Group, the largest broiler producer in the United Kingdom, is now raising 20% of its chickens in compliance with Better Chicken Commitment (BCC) standards.

The company announced it has reached a milestone towards its commitment to the BCC, stating that of the 10.5 million broilers it harvests on a weekly basis in the U.K. and other parts of Europe, more than 2 million of those birds meet BCC standards.

The current BCC benchmark for higher welfare birds, -- created in 2019 by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with a focus on animal welfare– 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

 The 2 Sisters team began implementing the gradual change to BCC birds more than two years ago across the estate of 60 farms in the UK and 177 in Europe.

Advertisement

“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,” 2 Sisters Food Group CEO Ronald Kers said in a press release.

“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.”

Nick Davies, agricultural director of 2 Sisters Food Group, added: “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.”