Lidl introduces higher welfare standards for fresh chickens

Lidl is increasing the space allocated to its own-label fresh chickens by 20 per cent above the industry standard to enforce its commitment to ethical sourcing and improved animal welfare.

The budget supermarket will work with its suppliers to reduce the stocking density to 30kg per square metre, which it says will improve the living conditions of the birds.

The transition will start this summer, with Lidl expecting all of its own-label chicken supply to meet the new standards by 2025.

Lidl claims that by providing chickens with more space to roam, they will be able to engage in natural behaviours such as stretching their wings and dust bathing which will increase their wellbeing and allow them to lead more fulfilling lives.

The supermarket added that all its fresh chicken complies with third party standards including RSPCA certification, while its free-range RSPCA Assured chicken exceeds the requirements of the Better Chicken Commitment.

Richard Bourns, chief commercial officer at Lidl GB, said that the company is committed to working with its supply chain partners to influence positive change.

"This initiative is a testament to our strong supplier relationships and underscores our continued commitment to championing British food and farming,” he said. “Through ongoing engagement and longer-term agreements, we’re able to provide them with the confidence needed to make the necessary investments that will help move the dial on animal welfare.”

In October last year, Lidl announced an exclusive partnership with Kipster to sell more environmentally friendly eggs. The Dutch egg farmer claims that its eggs product significantly less carbon, with the remaining offset through the purchase of carbon credits.

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