GCAW Broiler Welfare Working Group Update

Members of GCAW’s Broiler Welfare Working Group met on 6 March 2024 and welcomed guest speaker Peter van Horne, an agricultural economist specialising in broiler chicken production at Wageningen University & Research.

Peter presented an overview of how the Netherlands rapidly transitioned from conventional to slower growing broiler breeds. Now 100% of fresh chicken sold in Dutch supermarkets adheres to Beter Leven 1 star minimum standards.

He outlined research which analysed the impacts of rearing slower growing birds on animal welfare, food safety, the environment, climate and economic indicators across the supply chain and demonstrated the balance that must be struck to minimise negative impacts.

Finally, Peter spoke about a six-country research project on the economics of implementing the European Chicken Commitment. This research demonstrated the varying degrees to which moving to these standards increases production costs across the different markets.

The GCAW Secretariat also presented a new resource on approaches to implementing animal welfare commitments. Its aim is to provide guidance and inspiration to companies working on commitments for any species and it presents case studies of practical experience and examples from the GCAW member companies.

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