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Sodexo reinforces its commitment to improve chicken welfare standards in Europe

June 12, 2019

Sodexo, world leader in Quality of Life services, announced today that in addition to its existing animal welfare commitments, it will reinforce its commitment to improve welfare standards in its sourcing of broiler chicken in Europe by 2026.

Sodexo commits to reach the following European Chicken Commitment standards by 2026 for 100% of the chicken meat it sources for Europe, working alongside its suppliers:

  1. Continue to comply with all European Animal Welfare Laws and Regulations, regardless of the country of production.
  2. Implement a maximum stocking density of 30kg/m2 or less. Thinning is discouraged and if practiced must be limited to one thin per flock.
  3. Adopt breeds that demonstrate higher welfare outcomes that meet the criteria of the RSPCA Broiler Breed Welfare Assessment Protocol.
  4. Meet improved environmental standards including natural light and enrichment
  5. Adopt controlled atmospheric stunning using inert gas or multi-phase systems, or effective electrical stunning without live inversion.
  6. Demonstrate compliance with the above standards via third-party auditing and annual public reporting on progress towards this commitment.

Sodexo’s European Broiler Chicken Welfare Position Paper provides more detail on the commitment.

Sodexo sources and serves food products derived from animals, and whilst the company is not directly involved in the rearing, handling, transportation or processing of them, it shares responsibility for the animals in its supply chain.

In the UK & Ireland, in addition to compliance with all European Animal Welfare Laws and Regulations, Sodexo also complies with Red Tractor standards. Red Tractor is a food assurance scheme which covers production standards developed by experts on safety, hygiene, animal welfare and the environment amongst other things. Red Tractor certifies that food has been produced to independently inspected standards right across the food chain - from farm to pack.

Red Tractor Assurance sets the assurance standards that apply to the farm assurance schemes and to different links in the food chain. They actively manage the certification bodies that police those standards. At the point of packaging they define the conditions for the Red Tractor mark and license the packers who display it on their packs to ensure that the Red Tractor is only ever seen on food that is qualified to carry it.

The Red Tractor can only be used on food that has been produced, packed, stored and transported to Red Tractor standards. The standards in all farming sectors, such as chicken, dairy or vegetables, have been agreed by a panel of experts to ensure that the food is safe and that the animals are well treated.

Sodexo sources and serves food products derived from animals, and whilst the company is not directly involved in the rearing, handling, transportation or processing of them, it shares responsibility for the animals in its supply chain. 

Sodexo believes that animal welfare is a key component of a sustainable supply chain alongside food safety, food security, nutrition, good environmental practices, fundamental rights for workers and economic viability. Sodexo was a founding member of the Global Coalition for Animal Welfare (GCAW), the world’s first food industry-led initiative aimed at advancing animal welfare globally. Improving broiler chicken welfare is one of the key priorities of the coalition.

Clients choose Sodexo because the company cares about the food it cooks, the resources it uses, the people it employs, and the communities it serves. This is Sodexo’s positive impact.

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