Welfare experts have worked with fast food restaurant chain KFC UK and Ireland to produce a first welfare report, which shows how the company is taking care of its birds across the supply chain.
It highlights success stories, particularly among the top quartile of its suppliers, and areas where greater improvement is needed. The audit, created by FAI Farms, follows the firm’s commitment last year to sign up to the Better Chicken Commitment (BCC). Andrew Raybould, senior technical auditor for FAI Farms, said FAI’s partnership with KFC UK and Ireland and its suppliers had always been defined by a shared passion for continuous improvement of chicken welfare on a global scale: “It also has the additional benefits of providing brand protection, improving customer trust and loyalty and delivering a consistent local message around farm to fork food integrity.”
Paula McKenzie, KFC UK and Ireland managing director, said the company had been working to improve welfare standards for the past 2 decades. It had found that understanding variations in performance across the supply chain tricky, given that the firm sources from over 2,000 farms. Tracey Jones, Compassion in World Farming global director of food business, said the first report provided valuable information on key inputs, such as stocking density, natural light provision, type of breed used as well as health indicators: “Coupled with an active improvement programme, we expect to see these animal-based outcome measures gradually improve as KFC transition their supply to meet the requirements of the BCC.”
Webinar on demand: Sustainability and Welfare
Poultry World recently aired it’s webinar on Sustainability and Welfare in Poultry Production, together with partners Dupont, Chr. Hansen and Schothorst Feed research. If you missed out on the live session, the webinar is now available to view.
Suppliers are visited every 15 months and all aspects of supply are audited:
If any non-compliances highlighted as “Action Required” are observed, suppliers must provide an action plan within 20 days. If suppliers receive a score of less than 80% they will be subject to a re-audit after 60 days to verify that corrective actions have been implemented. Non-compliance against any of the critical audit points results in automatic failure of the audit and immediate suspension from the supply chain. 2 suppliers were suspended in 2019 due to non-compliance issues.
Brain cells indicate hen welfare
Over the next few years 20 institutes throughout Europe will be studying laying hen welfare issues in enriched cage and non-cage systems. Dr Tom Smulders, a neuroscientist, says that the welfare of the birds is actually a function in their brain.
The report said the company received full compliance on 9 of its 10 criteria – meeting EU legislation, no cages or multi-tier, no cloning of GM breeds, no growth promoters, no mutilations, transport time not to exceed 8 hours, third party verification, effective stunning and no antibiotic prophylactic use. It received a 98% figure covering stocking density – the policy requirement is to ensure that density is below 38 kg per square metre.
The report looked at progress made on a range of issues including: