New European poultry sustainability charter introduced

Avec has launched its Sustainability Charter, which outlines areas where the poultry industry can improve on its environmental sustainability like packaging, animal welfare and use of antibiotics.

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Avec has launched its Sustainability Charter which outlines areas where the poultry industry can improve on its environmental sustainability like packaging, animal welfare and use of antibiotics. 

According to the charter, Avec wants to create “a clear roadmap on the key attributes leading to the best balance between the 3 pillars of sustainability (environment, social and economy)” to improve on environmental sustainability while still keeping in mind the health of the EU’s economy and the best interests of poultry producers.  

However, for EU poultry producers to be successful environmentally and financially, according to Avec, third country importers must meet the same standards that EU producers are held to. 

Environmental sustainability initiatives

While none of Avec’s initiative ideas are mandatory for members, Avec will provide information on what producers can do to take sustainability into their own hands with initiatives like:

  • a deforestation-free protein supply
  • carbon farming practices such as the use of catch crops, cover crops, conservation tillage and increasing landscape features 

Avec will also develop research on alternative proteins like insects and algae and begin a promotion campaign for parts of the chicken besides the breast. 

Recyclable packaging plan 

Avec intends to collect information from members who use recyclable packaging to share best practices with other members and will encourage and support research into alternative packaging materials. 

Broiler welfare policies 

According to the charter, “animal welfare is a feeling, an emotion, we humans have tried to rationalise through science.”

Avec plans to support research into cost-effective animal enrichment tools and will encourage members to install windows in broiler houses to let in more natural light and to adapt transportation to increasing temperatures. 

Antibiotic use in poultry

Avec’s position on antibiotic use is “as little as possible but as much as necessary,” and Avec supports the One Health approach which advocates for prudent use of antibiotics in broilers to prevent future antibiotic resistance

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