World’s largest meal kit, HelloFresh, joins the Better Chicken Commitment in NZ

Alt text: A light brown feathered chicken standing up tall. Wooden pannels can be seen behind them. There is a yellow square logo that reads ‘Better Chicken Commitment’.

HelloFresh has become the fourth food brand to sign the Better Chicken Commitment in Aotearoa, (just two weeks after My Food Bag announced their commitment). For HelloFresh, this builds on their Better Chicken Commitments in Europe and the United States. 

The Better Chicken Commitment lays out strict, science-based standards for rearing chickens bred for meat; standards which far exceed those currently set by the New Zealand government. The Australia-New Zealand Better Chicken Commitment is backed by 15 animal organisations including the New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), Veterinarians for Animal Welfare Aotearoa (VAWA) and Compassion in World Farming.

With HelloFresh and My Food Bag now on board, that leaves Woop, NZ’s third-biggest meal kit, as the only one in our Delivering Better ranking report, yet to commit to the Better Chicken Commitment.

Update: As of August 2023, The Coffee Club, Bird On A Wire, Columbus Coffee and Mexico have committed to the BCC in New Zealand.

What is the Better Chicken Commitment?

The Better Chicken Commitment is a set of internationally recognised standards designed to improve the lives of chickens bred for meat. There are six standards that food businesses pledge to meet when they sign the Better Chicken Commitment, the most important of which is a shift to healthier chicken breeds who grow more naturally. 

Right now, chickens bred for meat are bred to suffer. As a result of generations of selective breeding unnatural breeds, who grow abnormally fast, are used throughout the NZ chicken industry. These chickens grow so big and so fast that many suffer chronic pain and lameness. Some can’t lift their bodies up off the floor to reach food or water. Others struggle to breathe or suffer organ failure within weeks of being hatched. All because they’ve been bred to grow faster than nature intended. 

Several white chickens crowded around two hanging red food trays. Most of them are sitting down on dirty brown litter. The chicken in the centre has one swollen leg sprawled out unnaturally in front of them.
The unnatural chicken breeds currently used by the chicken industry suffer leg problems and spend most of their lives sitting on dirty litter.
(Image credit – Farmwatch)

With over 100 million chickens bred for meat every year in Aotearoa, the commitments from HelloFresh and My Food Bag, will mean millions of animals living much better lives. They join hundreds of other food brands here and overseas,  calling for an end to the rearing of abnormally fast-growing chicken breeds in favour of healthier breeds who grow more naturally.

Farms that supply food brands who’ve signed up to the Better Chicken Commitment, also have to make other changes to improve the lives of chickens too. This includes reducing the number of birds inside each shed; installing windows to provide natural light; installing perches and other enrichments; and reporting on their progress annually as they make these changes. 

Who has signed the Better Chicken Commitment in New Zealand?

HelloFresh becomes the fourth company in New Zealand to sign (after Domino’s, SwoleFoods and My Food Bag).

Update: As of July 2023, additional companies in New Zealand The Coffee Club and Bird On A Wire have committed to the BCC, in addition to Domino’s, My Food Bag, HelloFresh and SwoleFoods.

The big question left is: Who will be next?

Sign up to our online action team (The A-team) to take easy online actions for chickens, and stand against their suffering. Help us change the way the chicken industry treats chickens, one food business at a time. 

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