NEW YORK — Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) announced the addition of nine food businesses to the US Working Group for Broiler Welfare, bringing the group to 16 total members.

Members include Applegate, Aramark, Compass Group, Earth Animal, Giant Eagle, HelloFresh US, Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon, Nestlé USA, Panera Bread, Pret a Manger, Sprouts, Natural Grocers, Shake Shack, Sodexo, Target and Whole Foods.

CIWF and Blue Housing Sustainability Consulting facilitate the Working Group’s discussions and efforts to promote the Better Chicken Commitment (BCC) standards throughout supply chains.

US chicken producer Perdue Farms is collaborating with the Working Group so that members can meet their animal welfare commitments over the upcoming years.

“Many of Perdue’s animal care practices are aligned with the Better Chicken Commitment core tenants,” said Bruce Stewart-Brown, senior vice president of Technical Services and Innovation at Perdue. “As part of Perdue’s commitment to continuous improvement, we will continue in our collaboration with Compassion in World Farming and this Working Group to ensure that existing and future new customers can offer products from animals raised according to BCC committed standards in order to meet the demand.”

According to CIWF, Perdue has shifted its animal welfare standards to comply with the BCC, including by installing a controlled atmosphere stunning unit as an alternative to traditional slaughter methods.

“Bringing leading food businesses together in the Working Group allows for real collaboration, innovation and progress toward higher standards of welfare for the more than nine billion chickens raised in the US annually,” said Tessa Hale, US head of Food Business for CIWF. “The expansion of the Working Group reflects the desire for meaningful change in how we treat the planet’s most-farmed animal. In addition to our many new food business partners, we are thrilled to collaborate with several top chicken producers, such as Perdue, who are leading the way in animal welfare practices.”