Chicken Welfare

Chicken Matters to KFC (the clue is in the name). chicken is what we are, what we do.

Better Chicken Commitment

It’s all happening at KFC… we’ve signed up to the Better Chicken Commitment – with six ambitious goals for our farms and suppliers to meet, to help transform chicken’s lives for the better.

Find out more here.

Top of the pecking order

We’ve set ourselves a challenge. And it’s a big one.
Put KFC at the forefront of transparency and openness on chicken welfare.

So… the first step in tackling this has been all about getting a clear understanding of where we stand now. Our policy and our Western European Sourcing Code of Practice clearly set out our robust welfare standards – but understanding any variations in performance across our supply chain is trickier than you might think.

Especially given we source our chicken from over 2,000 farms.

Over the last 12 months, it’s been all go at Colonel HQ – as we’ve been busily building some big, bold, brand new welfare data software. The state-of-the-art system collects data from all of our suppliers on a whole host of key chicken welfare metrics. All the important stuff – like flocking density, average time spent in the barn, the environmental enrichment available (things like perches and pecking objects), plus many other important measures relating to the health of our chickens.

Getting the system up and running has been a huge job. No small undertaking. A feat of hen-durance (sorry). But we believe it’s well worth it. The software offers us best in class transparency of our supply chain – meaning we can literally see what’s going on in any given farm at any given time. We’ll still continue running independent audits, but the new software supports this by helping us see which suppliers are doing well… as well as those who are performing less well. That’s going to help us drive up standards as we can work to improve those farms who are not where we want them to be.

By gathering this data and committing to reporting it publicly – both the good and the bad – we reckon we can raise welfare standards, not just across our farms but whole poultry industry. Not bad.

Where we’re at

These are exciting times for us – but it’s only been possible thanks to the partnerships we’re forged along the way. Speaking to leading NGOs like Compassion in World Farming, World Animal Protection and the Humane Slaughter Association over the years has helped shape both our policy and this ambitious new software tool. Poultry welfare is an incredibly complex issue to tackle, so we’re really grateful to them for their ongoing insight, expertise and support.

“World Animal Protection and KFC have agreed to work together to improve the welfare of chickens in the company and across the poultry industry. WAP will help KFC implement a welfare programme that aims to deliver better lives for millions of chickens.”

So – after all that work, we can’t wait to get the new software live, and the plan is that we’ll be publishing all our detailed data publicly by the end of the year.
But we thought it was too good to keep to ourselves… so in the meantime, we wanted to publish a quick summary. This shows the results of the analysis of our historical data from 2018 that we’ve been using to build the software.

Chicken Welfare Dashboard

We know we’re on a journey and there’s still plenty of work to be done – but we’re really pleased there’s been some recognition of where we’ve got to so far.
Our parent company Yum! moved up two tiers in the 2019 Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare Report (or BBFAW for short). It’s a leading measure of how companies are performing on farm animal welfare globally.
Moving up two tiers in a year is a reflection of the hard work done by teams across the world – but we’re very proud of the role KFC in the UK & Ireland has played in helping set the bar within Yum!

“We’re encouraged to see Yum! Brands rise 2 tiers in the BBFAW, into Tier 3. This is largely due to their improved published data on Governance and Management of welfare within their brands, and their regional policies and reporting on cage free egg sourcing and antibiotic reduction in meat chickens.” Dr Tracey Jones, CIWF.

What’s next?

Keep your eyes peeled… later in the year, we’ll be sharing our first set of real-time data.
Our big ambition is that by sharing this with NGOs and reporting these results publicly, we can provide the data needed to drive improvements across the supply chain.
We know talk is cheep (sorry again) – but we have big ambitions. Working in collaboration with peers, competitors, farmers and NGOs, we hope we can drive progress, raise standards further and bring about change that our industry and customers can be proud of.

Rearing chicken the KFC Way

Commit to transparent and accountable farming

Since 2004, we have been one of the ONLY restaurant chains who insist on separate, specific welfare audits, and we’re the ONLY chain in the UK to have independent welfare checks happening in our farms EVERY SINGLE DAY of the year. We also visit farms ourselves. Sometimes announced, sometimes not.

If any farmer doesn’t uphold our standards we will stop buying from them. End of.

This year we are introducing a state-of-the-art auditing system which will give us an even greater understanding of how every farm is doing, and we will publish the data so that we are totally open about how we’re doing.

Do everything we can to let chickens behave like chickens

Rearing chicken responsibly means making sure they live in large barns with plenty of dry bedding, a healthy, natural diet and the right lighting and warmth, so they are comfortable to do what chickens do. That’s why we passionately believe in what chicken experts call ‘environmental enrichment’. That basically means giving chickens things like pecking objects and perches in their barns which encourage that chicken-y behaviour, plus windows for natural light.

Six years ago we set ourselves the goal of increasing the amount of chicken we buy from farms with environmental enrichment. We’re are proud to say that today 100% of the UK farms we buy from have environmental enrichment. We’re at about 30% across the rest of our farms and are committed to work to increase that.

RED TRACTOR AND BEYOND

All our chicken reared in the UK is certified by Red Tractor meaning our suppliers’ farms have to meet 150 checks and standards. Our farms in Europe, Brazil and Thailand must meet the same standards, so although we can’t says its Red Tractor because it’s a UK thing, we can be sure all our chicken is treated decently, no matter where it comes from.

WORKING TO RAISE STANDARDS

We want to get better and we want the whole chicken business – from farms right up to retailers – to get better with us. That’s why we are making ourselves and our suppliers accountable with this policy, and we will keep setting ourselves higher standards and working hard to meet them.

We believe there is a right way to do things and, when it comes to chicken, that means being honest enough to say we can do more, we need to do more and to go out there and do it.

Things we won’t stand for

And just in case you were wondering: we NEVER allow inhumane practices like beak trimming, and every single KFC chicken is cage-free. Always has been, always will be. We also don’t allow the use of nasties like growth promotors. Our farmers can use antibiotics to treat an animal that becomes unwell but only with the right medicines, at the right dosage, at the right time, and never as a preventative measure.

Our Welfare Policy …In Pictures

Halal Restaurants

THERE ARE JUST OVER 900 KFC RESTAURANTS IN THE UK AND AROUND 110 CURRENTLY SERVE HALAL Food.

We set ourselves high standards across all our restaurants and with our suppliers. As part of our commitment to maintaining these standards, we work closely with the Halal Food Authority, who accredit and regularly audit our Halal restaurants.

WHAT IS DIFFERENT IN A HALAL RESTAURANT?

In our Halal restaurants we do not handle any pork ingredients, and all the food and drink items served in in these restaurants are approved by the Halal Food Authority. This ensures the very best Halal standards but does mean that certain menu items and limited time offers may not be available.