EUROPE – The Swiss food group, Nestle SA has announced plans to improve the welfare of millions of chickens used for food in Europe through its leading food brands Herta, Buitoni, Wagner and Maggi.

Nestle has also made a commitment that by 2026, all Nestlé food products in Europe that use chicken as an ingredient will move to one higher standard for welfare as per the requirements set out in the European Broiler Ask.

It is collaborating with supply chain partners and stakeholders in a partnership aimed at improving living conditions for chickens, ensure the use of more humane practices and to reduce stocking density.

Nestle’s chilled meat brand, Herta will make changes in its sourcing of chicken starting 1st January, the products available under the existing Herta ‘Preference’ mark in France.

Better Chicken Commitment

Nestle joins other food manufacturers in the Better Chicken commitment which requires suppliers to meet certain requirements for 100% of fresh, frozen, and processed chicken in the supply chain.

It seeks to comply with all EU animal welfare laws and regulations; implement a maximum stocking density of 30kg/mor less; adopt breeds that demonstrate higher welfare outcomes as well as meeting improve environmental standards.

This forms part of Nestlé’s efforts to use traceable and responsibly sourced ingredients in its products.

“Consumers want to know where their food comes from and how it is made.

As part of our commitment to source ingredients responsibly we will improve welfare standards for millions of chickens used in our food products in Europe, including our Herta, Buitoni, Wagner and Maggi ranges,” said Nestlé Zone Europe, Middle East and North Africa CEO Marco Settembri.

The commitment builds on Nestle’s pledge made last year to higher standards of welfare for broiler chickens by 2024 in addition to an announcement to source cage free eggs only on a global basis by 2025.