French food services and facilities management company Sodexo has pledged to improve chicken welfare standards in sourcing broiler chickens in Europe.
As part of the commitment, the foodservice firm is planning to work with its suppliers on a set of goals for chicken welfare standards to be achieved by 2026.
Sodexo is a founding member of the Global Coalition for Animal Welfare (GCAW) that is aimed at improving at improving animal welfare globally, this coalition includes improving broiler chicken welfare.
Regardless of the country of production, the company aims to continue to comply with all European Animal Welfare Laws and Regulations.
It also plans to implement 30kg/m² stocking density or less, and reject thinning. The company noted that it will limit thinning to one thin per flock if practiced.
Sodexo will adopt breeds that show higher welfare outcomes and comply with the criteria of the RSPCA Broiler Breed Welfare Assessment Protocol and improved environmental standards.
Other commitments include adopting controlled atmospheric stunning using inert gas or multi-phase systems, or effective electrical stunning without live inversion; and demonstrating compliance with the above standards through third-party auditing and annual public reporting on progress towards this commitment.
In a statement, the company said: “Sodexo believes that animal welfare is a key component of a sustainable supply chain alongside food safety, food security, nutrition, good environmental practices, fundamental rights for workers and economic viability.
“Sodexo was a founding member of the Global Coalition for Animal Welfare (GCAW), the world’s first food industry-led initiative aimed at advancing animal welfare globally. Improving broiler chicken welfare is one of the key priorities of the coalition.
“Clients choose Sodexo because the company cares about the food it cooks, the resources it uses, the people it employs, and the communities it serves. This is Sodexo’s positive impact.”