More than 20% of the 10.5 million chickens processed by its poultry operations now meet the 2026 ‘Better Chicken Commitment (BCC)’.
Created by animal welfare NGOs in 2019, the BCC is a benchmark for high welfare birds assessed by a set of six criteria that need to be met by 2026.
These criteria include: compliance with all EU animal laws and regulations; not exceeding a stocking density of more than 30kg per square metre; and the use of higher welfare breeds of chickens that are grown more slowly. A full list can be found in the box below.
Chief executive Ronald Kers said the ‘milestone' was a testament to all the hard work our farmers, processing operations and commercial teams were putting in.
“We want all our chickens to have as happy lives as possible. We’ve listened very closely to our customers – and also consumers – who tell us they want more options when it comes to higher welfare chicken as well,” he added.
“We’ll always produce the full range of products, ranging from organic, free range to standard birds, but as the years go by, more and more people are asking for higher welfare birds that are still competitively priced, and that’s what we’re proud to deliver to help feed the nation.”
Two years in the making
2 Sister’s agricultural team were responsible for implementing the gradual change to higher welfare birds – a process which started more than two years ago across the estate of 60 higher welfare farms in the UK and 177 in Europe.
Agricultural director Nick Davies said: “This is one of the biggest generational changes for a product offer I can think of in my career. I’m very proud to lead the agriculture team here at 2 Sisters to make all this happen, but it’s also down to the breeders, planners, farmers, processing sites and commercial teams for it to be delivered.
“It’s also fantastic that our customers have supported us through this journey and are now delivering ranges in partnership to their consumers that the now met the latest higher welfare, slower grown commitments, well ahead of when they’ve been asked to be implemented.”
- Compliance with all EU animal welfare laws and regulations
- Not exceeding a stocking density of more than 30kg per m2 – which is 30% more room than ‘standard’ protocols, giving chickens more room to roam
- Use higher welfare breeds of chickens that are grown more slowly
- Provide an enriched environment for the birds in barns
- Birds must be slaughtered using humane methods
- All companies must be third-party audited at regular intervals