Marks and Spencer has announced a big adjustment to its chicken line, stating that “others must follow.”
MARKS AND SPENCER has made major modifications to its fresh chicken line, announcing that it will only sell slower-reared, higher-welfare chicken across the board.
According to the shop, it already has the greatest animal welfare standards on the market, and every fresh chicken sold in M&S will be slower-reared, British, and RSPCA Assured beginning next year. This implies that the birds will be fed a multigrain diet that is tailored to their slower natural growth and muscle development.
Concerns over how animals are treated before they reach shop shelves prompted the move.
A pig-farming company was recently dropped by four supermarkets, including Morrisons and Tesco, after film revealed them neglecting and abusing the animals.
Customers at Marks & Spencer’s Food Hall can currently purchase slow-raised chicken in the form of whole chickens, portions, and chicken breasts.
This will apply to all fresh chicken products starting in the autumn of 2022.
“M&S has a long history of leading on animal welfare standards, working with our M&S Select farmers we know and trust,” said Stuart Machin, M&S Food Managing Director.
“We were the first retailer to sign up for the Better Chicken Commitment, the first big supermarket to switch to 100 percent free range eggs, and we raise all of our pork outside.
“We currently offer the largest selection of RSPCA Assured products on the market, but we’re always looking to improve, which is why we’re making this industry-leading pledge.
“It will result in a sea change in UK farming standards, demonstrating to customers that our commitment to maintaining the greatest welfare standards means they can always expect excellent quality and value from M&S.”
From July 21, the narrative will be featured in the long-running ‘Fresh Market Update’ TV promotion.
“With its shift to RSPCA Assured in this category, M&S has extended its already leading position and can tell its customers that they are getting better welfare chicken, reared to the RSPCA’s high standards – throughout its full range,” said Chris Sherwood, RSPCA Chief Executive.
“This is a watershed moment for animal welfare, and we hope it will serve as a model for others in the field.
“By simply switching to slower-growing chicken breeds, shops can make a huge difference in the lives and welfare of millions of hens raised for meat in this nation every year.”
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