Media release: Consumers deserve to know the painful truth behind food delivery companies

First-of-its-kind ranking report highlights food delivery companies taking important steps to improve chicken welfare in New Zealand and those lagging behind.

Animals Aotearoa has today released a ranking report of food delivery service businesses in New Zealand based on how they stack up against the Better Chicken Commitment (BCC). The BCC is a set of welfare criteria developed by leading local and global animal protection organisations aimed at improving poor chicken welfare here and around the world. The report ranks companies based on their engagement on the BCC and therefore their stance on how the chickens in their business model should be treated. In New Zealand, there are two clear winners who are committed to the BCC – SwoleFoods and Domino’s. 

The release of Delivering Better: the painful truth behind food deliveries, is to ensure New Zealanders know what they are paying good money for, to take the pain out of household meal planning. Shockingly, the vast majority of the chickens raised for meat in Aotearoa come from industrial farms that use chickens selectively bred to grow unnaturally fast, causing many avoidable health problems. Due to the unnatural breeding and terrible living conditions, every year at least 2,000,000 birds die in the sheds. Through the BCC, Animals Aotearoa is asking companies to commit to a set of minimum standards including asking companies to shift to breeds of chicken that grow more naturally.

“Throughout the pandemic, meal kits and food brands who home deliver have capitalised on the increasing popularity of their products, and yet, they are choosing to ignore the truth about the intense suffering and needs of the chickens in their supply chains. New Zealanders deserve to know the truth and that’s why we are standing with them to demand change.”

Marianne Macdonald, Executive Director, Animals Aotearoa

The latest food business to sign up to the BCC in Aotearoa, is ready-meal brand SwoleFoods. 

“At SwoleFoods, a huge part of our menu is made with dishes including chicken and hence we are happy to support this movement to ensure the  ingredients we use are supplied using the best practices possible.”

Taran Machra, Director, SwoleFood

Within the report, global companies such as Burger King, HelloFresh, Pita Pit and Starbucks are called out for their double standards, having failed to sign up to the BCC despite agreeing to these standards overseas. Collectively these companies have the ability to drive change for chickens in New Zealand. The report also delves into the details of industry-made standards such as ‘free-range’ which, Animals Aotearoa reveals, carries very little value to the welfare of the animals. As an example – abnormally fast-growing chickens have difficulty walking, that therefore impacts ‘free range’ access to the outside;  many chickens never actually get outside. The Better Chicken Commitment standards are recognised globally with too many New Zealand based companies trailing behind the global norm. 

“We are in communication with Burger King, McDonald’s, HELL, HelloFresh, FED and Bird on a Wire. We hope that they continue to work with us to improve the lives of the chickens in their supply chains by making this meaningful public commitment,”

says Macdonald.

You can view the report and look through the ranking here.

Food businesses that have signed the Better Chicken Commitment in NZ:

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