Ready meals, the latest in a long line of companies doing better for chickens

Side-view of a white feathered chicken standing on a wooden deck, with a brown feathered hen behind her.
Side-view of a white feathered chicken, with a table and some buckets behind her.

This article was originally published in July 2022. In September 2022, Ready Meal brand SwoleFoods signed the Better Chicken Commitment. As of August 2023, The Coffee Club, Bird On A Wire, Columbus Coffee, Mexico,My Food Bag and HelloFresh have also signed.

We have more good news from Europe to share.

Swedish food brand, Grön ko (which means Green Cow), is the latest ready meal company to sign up to the higher welfare standards of the European Better Chicken Commitment. A ‘ready meal’ is one you buy pre-prepared, that only needs to be heated before eating. By 2026, all of Grön ko’s chicken meals will be from healthier chicken breeds with much improved living conditions. 

Grön ko can be found at four out of five of Sweden’s major retailers, as well as petrol stations, and on trains.

This win was achieved by our friends at Djurens Rätt, who have already successfully campaigned for 68 other food businesses to adopt the Better Chicken Commitment.

This begs the question, why are ready meal businesses and, in fact, all food businesses in Aotearoa lagging so far behind? As you may know, Domino’s is the only food business to have signed up to the Better Chicken Commitment. 

But here in Aotearoa, major food brands are lagging behind.  

So far, all New Zealand ready meal businesses, (including My Food Bag – makers of Made, Eat, Mealbox, Primal Kitchen, Hello Foods – makers of Muscle Fuel and Plate Up, FED, Fit Me In, Swolefoods and Fitfood), are lagging behind because most New Zealanders don’t know what breed of chicken they’re being sold. 

That’s why Animals Aotearoa has launched the Australia-New Zealand Better Chicken Commitment campaign calling on major food brands to only source their meat from farms that raise healthier breeds of chickens to higher welfare standards. 

It’s time New Zealand ready-meal brands step-up and treat chickens better. 


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