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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Nestle Intensifies Welfare Standards for Sourcing Chicken


Multinational food producer Nestle has announced that chicken sourced for Buitoni, Wagner and Maggi brands must conform to the Global Animal Partnership Standards as part of the European Broiler Ask-The-Better-Chicken Commitment. This standard requires a bio-density of 6 lbs. per ft.2, placement of slow-growing strains, 4.5 foot candles of light intensity, 6 ft. of usable perch space and two pecking substrates per 1,000 birds, controlled atmosphere stunning with third-party auditing and traceability of a company program.

Marco Settembri, CEO for Europe, Middle East and North Africa for Nestle stated “As part of our commitment to sourcing ingredients responsibly, we will improve welfare standards for millions of chickens used in our food products in Europe.”

In 2017, Nestle pledged to source only cage-free eggs on a global basis by 2025. Eggs are used in mayonnaise, pasta and pastry. Broiler meat is an ingredient in frozen meals. Collectively, Nestle purchase 2 million tons of meat, poultry and eggs each year.

Nestle has come under extreme pressure from Compassion in World Farming and the company believes that compliance will enhance consumer goodwill. In contrast he financial performance of Nestle has been disappointing and management is under pressure from institutional investors to enhance profitability.

It is doubtful whether continually upgrading welfare standards with commensurate increases in cost of acquisition and hence lower margins in a competitive environment will benefit shareholders.

Copyright 2019 Simon M. Shane