The furniture purveyor unveils animal welfare standards for chickens.
CONSHOCKEN, Pa. – Ikea Food Services AB recently released a set of requirements that address the welfare of chickens raised for the company’s food products. The Better Chicken Program is the first of Ikea’sFood Better Programsthat aim to improve animal welfare, public health and environmental impacts at the farm level.

The Better Chicken Program details minimum sourcing criteria for all broiler chicken products in the Ikea global supply chain. Ikea said the program will be implemented in two phases, with some deadlines in 2020 and final compliance expected by 2025. The company said all chicken products sourced for Ikea will be consistent with program criteria by 2025. Some of the additional criteria include:

Stocking density. Maximum stocking density of 30 kg/m2 to allow chickens to have enough space.

Antibiotics. Ikea said there will be no routine use of antibiotics in chicken sourced for the company’s food products by 2020. The company also plans to phase out highest priority antibiotics that are critically important to human health by 2025.

Breeds with measurably improved health and behavior outcomes. Ikea said the company intends to use breeds that are “healthier, and are able to effectively express important natural behavior while still providing good production value.”

“Following two years of research and development, I’m delighted we now are sharing the Better Chicken Program, the first of our sustainable agriculture initiatives for farm animals, which demonstrates our commitment to driving positive change in the food industry,” Jacqueline Macalister, Health & Sustainability manager, IKEA Food Services, said in a statement.

The Ikea Food Better Programs were developed with input from experts, non-government organizations and suppliers. The company aims to work towards sourcing of chickens, laying hens, pigs, salmon, beef and dairy cattle to be compliant by 2025.

Details of the Better Chicken Program can be found on the Ikea website.