In the past three months, seven more companies and institutions have agreed to join the European Chicken Commitment. By increasing the standards for chickens raised for meat, they are contributing to reducing the suffering of many chickens and, in general, to a more respectful treatment of the animals.
Hof Landgenuss has been offering chicken meat products since 2021 and works with butchers and farms in Germany, the Netherlands and Poland to do so. The company with its headquarters in Bad Zwischenahn stands for the best possible standards regarding husbandry conditions and meat quality.
Starting as early as mid 2022, the Hof Landgenuss GmbH (comparable to a Limited Liability Company) will be offering products that are in line with the criteria of the European Chicken Commitment. This way, they will be contributing to meeting the demand of further signatories to the commitment.
Stefan Claus, Managing Partner of Hof Landgenuss, states: »The appreciation for a more conscious meat consumption has become much more present over the past years. This is why we as a company are concentrating on continuously improving husbandry conditions.«
The largest French producer LDC is already meeting the criteria of the European Chicken Commitment for its brand »Nature & Respect«. The meat used for »Nature & Respect« comes from chickens and other birds, mostly from Western France, that are given more space than required by law, and access to outdoor areas, among other things. In total, LDC produces at 93 locations in France and Europe and employs about 23,000 people.
LDC joined the European Chicken Commitment after dialogues with the French animal protection group L214. The group will be implementing the criteria of the European Chicken Commitment for its entire product range by 2025 at the latest.
Anne-Elise Herrault, Export Product Manager with LDC: »Since the sixties we have been advocating for more sustainable chicken farming with a focus on animal welfare. (…) We perceive the fact that we are already meeting the criteria of the Chicken Commitment as an acknowledgement of the farming strategies we follow for Nature & Respect.«
Student Services of Vorderpfalz and Kaiserslautern
The Vorderpfalz student service serves institutions of higher education in Landau, Ludwigshafen, Worms, Germersheim, and Neustadt with a total of 18,432 students. The Kaiserslautern student service provides for 19,830 students in Kaiserlautern, Zweibrücken, and Pirmasens (these numbers are from the winter term 2020/2021). In addition to supplying dining facilities (14 by the Vorderpfalz service and 8 by the Kaiserslautern service), these services also provide housing, psychological and legal consultancy, child care, and other forms of support for students.
The Vorderpfalz and Kaiserslautern student services will implement the requirements of the European Chicken Commitment for 100% of the chicken meat they use by 2026 at the latest. Counting the two newcomers, 12 student services have now joined the European Chicken Commitment.
The Diäko GmbH based in Hamburg prepares ready-made meals that customers can have delivered, once or regularly, to their homes or offices, where they simply need to heat them up. The core offer is directed at customers wishing to lose weight, including coordinated low-calory meal plans for a number of days. Under the brand name Easyfit, the company also sells individual meals, omnivorous or vegetarian, independent of diet plans.
Diäko GmbH will also have raised its animal welfare requirements for 100% of the chicken meat it processes and is working with its suppliers to implement the criteria by 2026 at the latest.
In addition to the Hilton Hotel and a conference center, the Allresto Flughafen München Hotel und Gaststätten GmbH caters to, about 85% of all restaurants at Munich airport. This does not only encompass the public areas for visitors and travelers but also the catering for the approximately 10,000 employees. With its 48 million passengers, Munich airport was the second largest airport in Germany in 2020.
Allresto also committed to implementing the criteria of the European Chicken Commitment for its own brands by 2026 at the latest.
A special addition at the end of this year is Audi, debuting as the first car manufacturer to join the European Chicken Commitment. Audi restaurants serve about 60,000 employees at their German locations as well as visitors at their »Audi Forums« Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm.
For its cafeterias, Audi will only buy chicken meat that meets the criteria of the European Chicken Commitment by 2026 at the latest. »By joining the European Chicken Commitment, we are sending a clear signal to meat producers and reassuring them that they will have customers for their products«, says Victoria Broscheit, Head of Catering at Audi.
The European Chicken Commitment: More space, less suffering
The European Chicken Commitment was drafted by the Albert Schweitzer Foundation and other European animal protection groups. Its purpose is to diminish the greatest sources of suffering in chicken farming by implementing a new, extensive minimum standard. The commitment requires its signatories and their suppliers to reduce overbreeding in order to prevent physical ailments; to grant more space, light and materials to keep the animals occupied; and to make the process of stunning and slaughter less brutal and stressful.
Worldwide, almost 500 companies have agreed to raising their animal welfare standards according to the requirements of the European Chicken Commitment. Some of them are groups like Nestlé and Unilever, top caterers like Sodexo, producers such as Rügenwalder Mühle, and restaurant chains like Subway and Kentucky Fried Chicken. All signatories commit to regularly reporting on the progress of implementation and to ensuring compliance with the standards through third party audits.