IKEA Food Services AB recently announced that it has launched the Better Chicken Program, the first of its Better Programs for more sustainable agriculture. The program 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 the farm level.
"Following two years of research and development, I'm delighted we now are sharing the Better Chicken Program, the first of our sustainable agriculture initiatives for farm animals, which demonstrates our commitment to driving positive change in the food industry," said Jacqueline Macalister, health and sustainability manager for IKEA Food Services.
Through the Better Chicken Program, IKEA Food aims to ensure that broiler chickens are raised in accordance with criteria that promote better welfare, such as adequate space (a maximum of 30 kg/sq. m), lighting, enrichment and breeds with improved health outcomes. The program also aims for responsible use of antibiotics and addresses key environmental impacts such as deforestation and pollution from manure, the company said.
The Better Chicken Program criteria are to be implemented in two stages based on feasibility: certain criteria have a 2020 deadline, and final compliance with the Better Chicken Program is expected by 2025.
The company’s goal is to work towards sourcing all species – chickens, laying hens, pigs, salmon, beef and dairy cattle – with compliance by 2025.
“The launch of the IKEA Food Better Programs is important for our ambition to offer a wide range of good, healthy and delicious food sourced in a responsible way and affordable for the many,” the company said.
IKEA Food's Better Programs are global, developed with input from experts, non-government organizations and suppliers and set minimum requirements for sourcing.
“IKEA Food Services wants to have a positive impact on people, animals and the planet,” the company said. “IKEA Food has developed the Better Programs to address and focus ambitions for more sustainable agriculture for all major animals in the IKEA food supply chain.”
For more specific details on the company’s chicken guidelines, visit www.ikea.com/us/en/about_ikea/newsitem/010918-IKEA-food-better-programs.