Ikea’s Better Chicken Programme focuses on sustainable production
Ikea Food Services AB has introduced the Better Chicken Programme, the first of the Ikea Food Better Programmes for more sustainable agriculture.
It contains a set of requirements for more sustainable chicken production in the Ikea food supply chain, addressing animal welfare, public health and environmental impact at farm level.
Ikea Food Services stated it wanted to have a “positive impact on people, animals and the planet”, with the Better Programmes having been developed to “address and focus ambitions for more sustainable agriculture for all major animals in the Ikea food supply chain”.
Through the programme, Ikea aims to ensure broiler chickens are raised in accordance with criteria that promote better welfare such as adequate space (max 30 kg/m2), lighting, enrichment and breeds with improved health outcomes.
The series of programmes also work towards responsible use of antibiotics and address key environmental impacts such as deforestation and pollution from manure.
The Better Chicken Programme criteria is to be implemented in two stages based on feasibility – certain criteria have a 2020 deadline, and final compliance with the Better Chicken Programme is expected by 2025.
“Following two years of research and development, I’m delighted we now are sharing the Better Chicken Programme, the first of our sustainable agriculture initiatives for farm animals, which demonstrates our commitment to driving positive change in the food industry,” commented Jacqueline Macalister, health & sustainability manager, Ikea Food Services AB.
Ikea Food Services AB had referred to the programmes when it faced criticism a few months ago, following media reports that certain Ikea markets withdrew from the Compassion in World Farming criteria.
The company said at the time that it continued the engagement with Compassion in World Farming on developing its animal welfare approach from a global perspective, and had added: “Ikea Food Services AB is working on global animal welfare programmes specific to all species within our supply chain with several key stakeholders.”
The Ikea Food Better Programmes are global, reportedly developed with input from experts, non-Governmental organisations and suppliers and set minimum requirements for sourcing.
According to Ikea, the aim is to work towards sourcing of all species – chickens, laying hens, pigs, salmon, beef and dairy cattle – to be compliant by 2025.