Second annual “Count Your Chickens Report” ranks food companies on progress and transparency toward Better Chicken Commitment standards
LOS ANGELES (Aug. 2, 2023) — The second annual “Count Your Chickens Report,” released by Mercy For Animals on Wednesday, Aug. 2, reveals that leading food companies—including Blue Apron, HelloFresh, IKEA, Sprouts Farmers Market, sweetgreen, and Whole Foods Market—are demonstrating progress toward meeting their public commitments to higher animal welfare through the Better Chicken Commitment (BCC). But some corporations, such as Starbucks, TGI Fridays, and White Castle, have failed to be transparent about progress toward their chicken welfare goals.
This year’s report ranks 77 leading food companies throughout the United States that have promised to meet science-backed BCC standards to address some of the cruelest practices in their supply chains, including crowding chickens in filthy environments and dragging fully conscious birds through electrified water before slaughter.
“Since 2016, more than 200 companies operating in the U.S. have publicly pledged to reduce suffering for chickens in their supply chains, and they must be held accountable to their word,” said Jennifer Behr, senior corporate relations specialist at Mercy For Animals. “We’re pleased to see dozens of companies being transparent and demonstrating progress toward fulfilling their commitments, which strengthens consumer trust and contributes to a kinder food system. But all major food companies must be transparent with consumers by publicly reporting their progress and publishing a clear path toward implementation.”
“At Sprouts, improving animal welfare is an ongoing process that is a fundamental part of our responsible sourcing efforts,” said Brandon Lombardi, chief sustainability officer at Sprouts Farmers Market. “It is important to our customers and is the right thing to do. We are proud to be leading in transparency as we continue to make progress on our chicken and other animal welfare commitments.”
Many companies have set 2024 deadlines to meet all or most BCC standards, and with target dates rapidly approaching, companies should inform the public about progress made on their commitments. Large-scale adoption and implementation of these standards would reduce suffering for billions of birds. Reporting progress toward animal welfare goals is just as important as reporting on other sustainability goals.
Notes to Editors
For more information or to schedule an interview with Jennifer Behr, contact Robin Goist at [email protected].
— Link to “Count Your Chickens Report.”
— Images of chickens in typical factory farms.
Mercy For Animals is a leading international nonprofit working to end industrial animal agriculture by constructing a just and sustainable food system. Active in Brazil, Canada, India, Mexico, and the United States, the organization has conducted more than 100 investigations of factory farms and slaughterhouses, influenced more than 500 corporate policies, and helped pass historic legislation to ban cages for farmed animals. Join us at MercyForAnimals.org.
The Better Chicken Commitment (BCC) is an industry-leading set of animal welfare standards that addresses some of the worst practices affecting chickens raised for meat. The BCC calls for giving chickens more space, providing environmental enrichment and better litter and lighting conditions that more closely meet their needs, switching to higher-welfare breeds (since standard breeds grow so quickly that many birds can’t even walk without pain), and replacing live-shackle slaughter with controlled-atmosphere stunning. When food companies adopt the BCC, they demonstrate a desire to prioritize animal welfare in their supply chains and reduce suffering in the food industry. Learn more at MercyForAnimals.org/Count-Your-Chickens-Report.