COMPASSION In World Farming (CIWF) has launched a new annual report tracking how companies are moving towards meeting the requirements of the Better Chicken Commitment (BCC).
It mirrors the charity’s long-running EggTrack report, which monitors companies’ progress towards cage-free egg production.
More than 350 European companies have signed up to the BCC to date, and the 2022 ChickenTrack reports on 73 commitments made by 60 companies selected based on their geographic relevance and size.
Of those 73 commitments, 31 reported progress towards the BCC standard, 27 reported progress against specific criteria and four reported progress towards full BCC compliance. 42 companies did not report progress.
There have been more than 120 commitments from national and international companies in the UK, the majority coming from the out-of-home sector, including contract caterers, Quick Service Restaurants, and other food outlets.
Two of six UK producers, PD Hook (Hatcheries) Ltd and 2 Sisters Food Group, have pledged to supply chicken to the BCC standard.
Only two UK retailers have signed up to the BCC: M&S and Waitrose, with the remainder tending to have BCC-compliant lines. Sainsbury’s recently reduced the stocking density of birds in its supply chain.
M&S is the first company in the UK to transition 100% of its fresh chicken to the BCC standard under the Oakham Gold, RSPCA Assured label.
CIWF said it was “encouraging” progress was being reported given the challenging economic background.
Dr Tracey Jones, global director for Food Business at CIWF, said: “When decisive commitments are taken with collective effort, alongside responsible investment, determined implementation and proactive marketing, these higher welfare standards are not only commercially viable but transformational for the whole sector.”
The full report can be found on the CIWF website.