CHARLOTTE, NC – As part of its plan to “transform” the welfare of its chicken, foodservice supplier Compass Group USA has committed to a certification program known as the Global Animal Partnership (GAP).  Using GAP’s animal welfare rating system for the broiler chickens in its supply chain, the company states it will improve the lives of about 60 million chickens per year.

“Compass becomes the first foodservice company to commit to healthier, slower growing strains of chickens, improved living conditions and more humane slaughter,” a statement from Compass said. By 2024, the company plans to ensure compliance with a five-step program among all of its suppliers and to require them to utilize controlled atmosphere stunning technology. The GAP program requires suppliers to: use only approved genetic strains; provide birds with hay bales, perches and natural light and meet minimum space requirements of 6 lbs. per sq. ft.

Rick Post, COO Compass Group USA, said, “This partnership underscores our Envision 2020 principles and creates positive impact for people, animals and the planet while balancing social, environmental and ethical responsibility with commercial success. Very simply, it’s just the right thing to do.”

“We are very proud to have this historic first-ever partnership with a foodservice company,” said Anne Malleau, executive director of GAP. “We are committed to supporting Compass in this transition by providing training material, assistance, and benchmarking to help them reach their goals by 2024. It represents an extraordinary agreement.”

The partnership between Compass and GAP is supported by Compassion in World Farming and the Humane Society of the United States. Compass Group North America is a foodservice management and support services firm employing 240,000 people with 2015 revenues of $14.5 billion

Details of Gap’s five-step program are available here