IKEA Food Services AB introduces the Better Chicken Programme, the first of the IKEA Food Better Programmes for more sustainable agriculture. It contains a set of requirements for more sustainable chicken production in the IKEA food supply chain addressing animal welfare, public health and environmental impact at the farm level.
IKEA Food Services wants to have a positive impact on people, animals and the planet. IKEA Food has developed the Better Programmes to address and focus ambitions for more sustainable agriculture for all major animals in the IKEA food supply chain.
Through the Better Chicken Programme IKEA Food aims to ensure broiler chickens are raised in accordance with criteria that promote better welfare such as adequate space (max 30 kg/m2), lighting, enrichment and breeds with improved health outcomes. They work towards responsible use of antibiotics and address key environmental impacts such as deforestation and pollution from manure. For details please see the detailed criteria and road map per region in the attached pdf document.
The Better Chicken Programme criteria are to be implemented in two stages based on feasibility - certain criteria have a 2020 deadline, and final compliance with the Better Chicken Programme is expected by 2025.
“Following two years of research and development, I’m delighted we now are sharing the Better Chicken Programme, the first of our sustainable agriculture initiatives for farm animals, which demonstrates our commitment to driving positive change in the food industry.” says Jacqueline Macalister, Health & Sustainability Manager, IKEA Food Services AB.
The IKEA Food Better Programmes are global, developed with input from experts, NGOs and suppliers and set our minimum requirements for sourcing. The aim is to work towards sourcing of all species – chickens, laying hens, pigs, salmon, beef and dairy cattle – to be compliant by 2025.
“IKEA’s Better Programmes represent holistic and ambitious improvement plans for all species in their food supply chain, designed to promote animal-centered and regenerative farming systems. FAI is proud to have been working alongside IKEA the last two years to ensure the programmes are routed in science and agricultural best practice, while also being shaped by key stakeholder’s views. By focusing on the whole challenge we face, we believe this approach can help enable the shift toward a more sustainable food system.” says Øistein Thorsen, Director of the Food Animal Initiative (FAI).
The launch of the IKEA Food Better Programmes is important for our ambition to offer a wide range of good, healthy and delicious food, sourced in a responsible way and affordable for the many.
Update May 2018: The Better Chicken Programme road map has been updated in order to clarify certain requirements and add more details.
Update February 2019: The Better Chicken Programme road map has been updated in order to clarify the role of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) assessment protocol.
Read also: "How passion for animal welfare brought Priya to Sweden" on IKEA Today.