VEVEY, SWITZERLAND — Nestle USA has committed to support better treatment of the animals in its supply chain. The company has pledged to source all the broiler chickens used as ingredients in its U.S. food portfolio from sources meeting a higher standard of animal welfare by 2024.
Nestle USA’s animal welfare policy will meet global animal partnership (GAP) standards that include the following:
- Ending the use of lower-welfare breeds
- Ending extreme crowding and providing each chicken more floor space (6 lbs per square foot)
- Keeping chicken litter clean enough to prevent eye sores, flesh burns and respiratory distress
- Improving lighting standards, including at least six hours of darkness each night and sufficient light during the day to decrease illness and disease
- Ending live-shackle slaughter in favor of the less cruel method of controlled-atmosphere stunning
|Paul Grimwood, chairman and c.e.o. of Nestle USA|
“We want to help bring about positive change at every level of our supply chain ― from our direct suppliers all the way back to the farms,” said Paul Grimwood, chairman and chief executive officer of Nestle USA. “We have already pledged that by 2020 all of the eggs we source as ingredients for our food products in the U.S. will come from cage-free hens. Today, we are taking the next step in that journey to help push for higher standards of welfare for broiler chickens.”
However, the commitment to improve welfare of broiler chickens is no small feat, Nestle said, calling it a “complex undertaking.”
“Such changes require investment and time, and the transition over the next seven years must be done in a sustainable and cost-effective way,” Nestle USA said. “We look forward to working together with our U.S. broiler chicken suppliers and others in the food industry, as well as farmers, N.G.O.s and our customers to drive progress. This matters to our consumers who expect affordable, high quality foods without comprising on animal welfare, and it matters to us. We will strive to meet these standards in our U.S. supply chain by 2024.”
Two leading organizations dedicated to animal welfare, Mercy for Animals and World Animal Protection, have publicly commended Nestle on its commitment.
|Martin Cooke, Ph.D., international head of corporate engagement at World Animal Protection|
“We congratulate Nestle USA on this commitment to significantly improve the lives of millions of chickens in the United States,” said Martin Cooke, Ph.D., international head of corporate engagement at World Animal Protection. “As the world’s largest food company, Nestle has the power to make large-scale changes to improve the lives of farm animals. We are pleased to have worked with Nestle in helping to develop the company’s animal welfare guidelines, and we look forward to following the company’s progress as they implement these transformative changes for the chickens in their supply chain.”
|Brent Cox, vice-president of corporate outreach with Mercy For Animals|
Brent Cox, vice-president of corporate outreach with Mercy For Animals, added, “Nestle USA has taken a big step toward ending many of the worst forms of animal abuse in the factory farming industry. This new policy will significantly reduce suffering for millions of animals each year.”