December 09, 2016

Just three months ago, virtually no U.S. food companies had welfare policies for chickens in the meat industry. Today, four of the five largest foodservice companies in the country have adopted meaningful commitments to eliminate the worst abuses suffered by chickens. This week, following campaigns by The Humane League, Centerplate and Delaware North, two of those largest foodservice providers, announced a series of progressive welfare policies to address the extreme abuses in its chicken supply chain by 2024. Together, these policies will impact hundreds of millions of animals.

The new policies ask the companies' suppliers to commit to slower, healthier growing species and practices; enhance the living environments; and end live-shackling slaughter methods for chickens raised for meat. The groundbreaking policies are a direct result of the The Humane League's 48-hour campaign against Centerplate, and week-long campaign against Delaware North. The commitments build on the momentum we have gained by securing similar policies from Aramark and Compass Group in October following a strategic campaign.

The foodservice companies' new commitments address several welfare concerns in its supply chain, most notably the selective-breeding of chickens, which currently causes the birds to grow grotesquely large in an alarmingly short amount of time and results in crippling injuries, immense suffering, and sometimes death.

Centerplate and Delaware North Companies provide foodservice and catering to major parks, stadiums, museums, and other large institutions around the country.

The success of the brief campaigns follows The Humane League's aggressive strategic campaign against Aramark in October, which was the first from any American nonprofit to demand food companies produce progressive policies with public timelines to meaningfully address the worst abuses in chicken factory farming. These unprecedented commitments to produce this set of progressive policies is evidence of a new standard for chicken welfare being set in the United States. We are confident that these new policies will continue to influence a wave of other companies in the industry to produce similar policies to eliminate some of the worst abuses in their chicken supply chains — just as cage-free policies have become the standard worldwide.