Of the 24 businesses to commit their Canadian broiler supply to be compliant with at least some of the Better Chicken Commitment (BCC) requirements, eight of those have reported progress toward fulfilling those pledges, according to the Mercy for Animals Canada Animal Welfare Scorecard report.
In order for Canadian companies to be BCC compliant, the following criteria must be met by 2024:
- Maximum stocking density of 30 kg/sq. meter and prohibit all forms of broiler cages.
- Provide birds an improved baseline environment, including:
- At least 7.6 centimeters of friable litter covering the whole floor of the house, managed to maintain dry, friable condition and prevent caked or wet areas.
- At minimum 8 hours of continuous light (≥50 lux) and 6 hours of continuous darkness daily (<1 lux).
- One or more types of functional enrichment (such as perches, platforms, or straw bales) that multiple birds can use at any time. The enrichments must be available by 10 days old and maintained thereafter, dispersed throughout the house and available to the entire flock with 1 enrichment for every 93 sq. meters or 1 enrichment per 1,000 birds, at a minimum.
- Process chickens in a manner that avoids pre-stun handling and instead utilizes a multi-step controlled-atmosphere processing system that induces an irreversible stun.
- Demonstrate compliance with all standards via third-party auditing and annual public reporting on progress toward this commitment.
Companies reporting progress
The companies to report progress toward meeting BCC goals include:
- A&W Canada: The company has reported 100% use of enrichments, 85% toward meeting stocking density requirements.
- Campbell’s: Campbell’s has reported it is 13% completed with meeting its goals concerning litter and enrichments.
- IKEA: The company has reported 32% progress toward becoming BCC-compliant.
- McDonald’s: The goal of transitioning toward a 100% supply that utilizes controlled atmosphere stunning (CAS) has been met.
- Metro: The company is 99.5% completed with its transition toward meeting stocking density requirements and 62% completed with a switch to CAS.
- Panago Pizza: 30% of its broiler supply is compliant with CAS requirements.
- Unilever: The company is 8% on its way to meeting enrichment goals and 1.7% toward meeting stocking density and higher-welfare breed requirements.
- Whole Foods Market: The company has transitioned fully into meeting Global Animal Partnership goals and is 81% toward meeting its CAS goals.
Others to commit
Other companies to make BCC pledges but not yet reporting any progress include: 241 Pizza, Aramark, Boston Pizza, Chipotle, Coffee Tim, Compass Group Canada, Denny’s, Harvey’s, The Keg, Kellogg’s, Nestle, Pita Pit, Sodexo, Starbucks, Subway and Swiss Chalet.
The report also measured companies’ progress toward fulfilling their pledges to cage-free eggs and crate-free pork.