The Swedish company told this site it was working closely with meat suppliers, as well as Compassion in World Farming (CiWF) – the charity that criticised it – to introduce an animal welfare initiative.
CiWF slammed IKEA last week after the retailer said it would withdraw support for CiWF’s higher-welfare chicken initiative, the ‘Good Chicken Award’, in nine European countries: Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Portugal and Slovakia.
Stores operating in the nine countries had failed to meet all the commitments enshrined by CiWF’s Good Chicken Award, it said. Big names like Subway and Burger King are part of the initiative, which recognises companies for giving chickens more free space, natural light or using breeds that grow slower than the high-growth birds that live for around 40 days.
Commitments not ‘fulfilled’
“We acknowledge that not all of the in-2012-awarded IKEA markets meet all of the CiWF criteria today and therefore have not completely fulfilled their commitments towards the Good Chicken Award; as a consequence, they are withdrawing from it,” said a spokeswoman at IKEA Food Services AB.
“However we are continuing engagement with Compassion in World Farming on developing our animal welfare approach from a global perspective.
“IKEA Food Services AB is working on global animal welfare programmes specific to all species within our supply chain with several key stakeholders. Similar to CiWF, we have identified key welfare issues related to broiler chicken production. We are working closely with our supply chain partners and CIWF, to pilot and roll-out the IKEA Food Better Programmes.”
Good welfare makes good food
The spokeswoman added that IKEA agreed with CiWF’s wish list for broiler welfare.
“At IKEA, we want our business to be people- and planet-positive – this also includes the wellbeing of animals. We believe the health of people is linked to the wellbeing of the animals we rely on for our food and we agree that the aspects addressed by CiWF in the Good Chicken Award are important for broiler welfare.”
While IKEA pulled commitment in nine countries, IKEA Italy and IKEA Switzerland will continue to honour its commitment to CiWF’s Good Chicken Award.