What a great start to the year for the European Chicken Commitment! In the first quarter alone, we welcomed six new members. Following talks with us, the two food producers Tönnies Foodservice and RieFein signed up to the European Chicken Commitment along with the specialist wholesaler Fresh Food Services. They were also joined by the Ulm, Mainz and Saarland student service organizations, which have undertaken to offer only chicken meat that fulfills the criteria of the European Chicken Commitment. These criteria are much more stringent than the legal minimum standards.
Two food producers and one specialist wholesaler on board
By 2026, the food producer Tönnies Foodservice will implement the criteria defined in the European Chicken Commitment, thereby contributing to improving animal welfare standards in the chicken farming industry. Its customers include not only catering businesses but also hospitals, canteens and kindergartens. On top of that, Tönnies plans to join forces with partners and suppliers in a drive to ensure that the standards defined in the European Chicken Commitment become established on the market.
Our CEO and President Mahi Klosterhalfen believes that the commitment of this major food producer sends an important signal: »In the past, we frequently directed strong criticism at companies belonging to Tönnies Holding, so we are all the more pleased that Tönnies Foodservice has now committed to raising animal welfare standards. This will have a huge impact in the industry and help to reduce the suffering of chickens raised for meat.«
Following productive talks with us, RieFein GmbH has also decided to join the European Chicken Commitment, thereby helping to improve the lives of numerous chickens in the chicken farming industry. We are also delighted that RieFein is expanding its vegan offering, another way that it is reducing animal suffering. The specialist wholesaler Fresh Food Services GmbH & Co. KG is also on board and going to expand its range of products that meet the criteria of the European Chicken Commitment.
Even more student service organizations joining up
The Ulm, Mainz and Saarland student service organizations are planning to implement the standards defined in the European Chicken Commitment by 2026 at the latest in all its canteens. A total of 15 student service organizations are now supporting the European Chicken Commitment, thus helping to establish the criteria defined in the initiative as the new minimum standard in the chicken farming industry. All members commit to not only provide regular updates detailing their progress in implementing the criteria but also ensure compliance with the requirements through independent bodies.
More than 500 companies worldwide have already undertaken to raise animal welfare standards in accordance with the European Chicken Commitment. These include big corporations (Nestlé, Unilever), leading caterers (Sodexo), producers (Rügenwalder Mühle), food retailers (Aldi) and restaurant chains (Subway, Kentucky Fried Chicken).
About the European Chicken Commitment
In Germany alone, more than 600 million chickens are raised for meat and slaughtered every year – t hat is more than 80% of all slaughtered land animals. Most of these animals grow so quickly they can hardly stand up. On top of that, the filthy and cramped conditions in the sheds only exacerbate the suffering. To help alleviate these appalling conditions, we and 29 other European animal protection groups launched the European Chicken Commitment. In particular, the European Chicken Commitment requires its members to reduce the overbreeding of the animals in their supply chains and to provide more space, light and variety in the sheds. Another key requirement is the use of less stressful stunning methods before slaughter.