Unilever to switch to chicken which has had ‘a better life’

Anglo-Dutch food to detergents group Unilever is to phase out the use of intensively factory-farmed chicken, starting with its chicken hot dogs in the first quarter of next year.

Instead, Unilever will use chicken which qualifies for at least one star in the ‘better life’ meat production rankings, spokeswoman Fleur van Bruggen says in a letter to animal rights group Wakker Dier.
Other products involving chicken, such as soup and ragout, will also make the change as quickly as possible, Van Bruggen says. One-star chickens have more time to grow, an enriched environment and access to a covered outdoor area
Unilever said in 2010 it would stop using pork which did not meet the ‘better life’ standard and now 60% of pork used in its soups and other foods has at least one star, Van Bruggen said.
Wakker Dier is currently running a campaign against the use of what it calls the plofkip‘ – blown-up chicken – birds which are reared so quickly and in such small spaces they can barely walk and which are given large amounts of antibiotics to cope with infections.
It is unclear from the Unilever letter whether these changes will only affect the Dutch market.

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