Also, the Naked Truth brand has committed to transparency by providing more information regarding the ways in which chickens are raised and processed. This includes farm stories and the people behind the products.
“While we are very excited about the new offerings, it’s important for everyone to understand that we are committed to humane care and controlling and managing animal health for all our chickens – not just those that are GAP 2 rated,” said Clint Rivers, CEO for Wayne Farms. “While we will continue to produce all of our birds in accordance with widely accepted production and handling practices, we have selected the GAP rating system as an additional tool to further document and communicate how we produce our chickens for those customers needing that additional validation,” he added.
Wayne Farms’ flocks that will be sold in the Naked Truth lined will be raised in houses that have less birds and stocking rates; better lighting and added enrichments; and grown to a lower weight than typical for foodservice. By 2018, the line will have birds harvested by controlled atmosphere stunning available.
“We are leaving our options open as we start producing birds grown this way,” said Dr. Bryan Miller, vice president of quality assurance and food safety. “We owe it to our stakeholders to ensure that the enrichments we adopt are based on sound science, and that they actually make a positive difference. If we find something that’s beneficial, we will consider applying the practice across our operations.”
Wayne Farms expects the first Gap Step 2 products to ship in September of this year. One plant will initiate production and expansion will increase with demand, according to a company statement.