CHICAGO – Conagra Brands Inc. has committed to enhancing animal welfare standards throughout its broiler chicken supply chain. The company is requiring its suppliers to adopt specific requirements related to the treatment of chickens by 2024.
Developed in partnership with the Humane Society of the United States, the initiatives and goals include sourcing 100% of chickens used in Conagra Brands products from either Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or Global Animal Partnership (GAP)-approved breeds.
“Conagra Brands is committed to the humane treatment of animals and our belief is that creating quality food for our consumers is more than just putting ingredients together, it also includes how we source those ingredients,” said Dave Biegger, chief supply chain officer for Conagra Brands. “We’re proud to work with the Humane Society of the United States as well as others in the food industry to take meaningful steps towards positive change in broiler chicken welfare practices.”
Suppliers will be expected to comply with GAP standards related to improving natural lighting, litter quality and other enrichments that improve animal environments. The company will also prohibit the use of broiler cages and require producers to adhere to flock density standards of no greater than 6 lbs per square foot.
Conagra will also require its processing partners to implement controlled atmosphere stunning technology to eliminate live shackling or live dumping of birds. The company plans to track supplier compliance via third-party auditing.
“We recognize that our 2024 goals require industry-wide partnership to succeed," Mr. Biegger said. "We will collaborate across our value chain to further animal welfare while preserving consumer access to quality, affordable food.”