Dutch supermarkets will sell only free-range chicken in 2023

16 Sep 2021

By 2023, supermarkets in the Netherlands will only sell free-range chicken products. This move toward improving the animal welfare of chickens sold in the Netherlands will only apply to fresh chicken products. Other products such as frozen chicken or chicken soup may still contain fast-growing broiler chickens.

To ensure that the fresh chicken meat sold in supermarkets is actually free-range, the products will need to maintain at least a one-star rating on a new “Beter Leven” (Better Life) label. This label is obtained through the Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals and is earned through an assessment and inspection process that reviews the entire supply chain involved in the production of fresh chicken. This review process is periodically reconducted to renew the animal welfare designation associated with the product.

Dutch supermarkets will sell only free-range chicken in 2023
Image via Sophia Louw on Unsplash

A one-star rating – the new minimum for fresh chicken products – means that animals have sufficient space and “play materials.” A two-star rating indicates that animals have access to even more space than those with a single star and also have access to the outdoors. Three stars mean “animals get as much freedom as possible to live their lives the way they would wish,” which includes space, rest and indoor-outdoor playtime.

Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn became the first retailer to adopt this rating system this past March. Following the retail chain’s decision to stop selling battery chickens, all other Dutch supermarkets followed suit, with Boni being the last one to adopt the animal welfare label as its standard.

According to the Dutch SPA, less than 1% of the 450 million animals annually produced by Dutch farmers are kept in systems that practice organic and free-range policies. To improve the welfare of the other 99% of production animals that live in “very intensive not very animal-friendly systems,” the Dutch SPA developed the better life label.

Despite the positive response surrounding the adoption of this new labeling scheme, some, including retailer Boni, expressed misgivings about the potential climate impact of this choice.

Free-range chickens live longer than battery-raised broiler chickens due to the time it takes to develop to the correct size. In turn, this longer life requires more feed, heating and space, making the production of free-range chicken more resource-intensive. These factors can lead to an overall increase in carbon dioxide production from chicken producers.

Additionally, providing an acceptable free-range environment in which to raise these chickens will require investment from some farmers that need to expand both indoor and outdoor space. Such additional costs could potentially be passed down to the consumer.

Related news

Coca-Cola achieves carbon neutrality for Sweden and Spain

Coca-Cola achieves carbon neutrality for Sweden and Spain

14 Sep 2021

Coca-Cola announced that two of its sites – Jordbro in Sweden and Vilas del Turbón in Spain – are now carbon neutral. These two sites are the first to earn this designation as part of a pilot program that aims for at least six of Coca-Cola Europacific ...

Read more 
Mexico permits UK pork exports for the first time

Mexico permits UK pork exports for the first time

13 Sep 2021

British pork producers now have access to export to the Mexican market for the first time, following a new trade deal announced by the U.K. government on September 2. Over the course of five years, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board est...

Read more 
Nestlé anticipates further price hikes for 2022

Nestlé anticipates further price hikes for 2022

10 Sep 2021

Nestlé’s chief financial officer François-Xavier Roger, said that he expects that “the input cost inflation will be higher next year than it is this year.” Current price hikes may be followed by continued upward pressure all the way until 2023, he said...

Read more 
Impossible launches vegan chicken nuggets in restaurants

Impossible launches vegan chicken nuggets in restaurants

9 Sep 2021

Impossible Foods officially launched its plant-based Impossible Chicken Nuggets in more than 100 restaurants across the U.S., including Michelin star chef David Chang’s Fuku. Later this month, the nuggets will become available in retail at stores inclu...

Read more 
Kellogg looks to boost production with $45M investment

Kellogg looks to boost production with $45M investment

8 Sep 2021

Following a lackluster sales report in the compared to its peers last year, Kellogg is looking to readjust its long term strategy for its cereal business with a $45 million investment into its production over the next three years, according to a filing...

Read more 
Coca-Cola is world’s most valuable drink brand, but not fastest-growing

Coca-Cola is world’s most valuable drink brand, but not fastest-growing

7 Sep 2021

After 129 years of making soda, Coca-Cola remains the world’s most valuable soft drink brand – reporting revenue that is 55% more than the No. 2 market leader, PepsiCo. Coca-Cola retained its ranking despite recording a 13% brand value decline to $33.2...

Read more 
Swedish Startup raises €750K to ferment animal-free fats

Swedish Startup raises €750K to ferment animal-free fats

6 Sep 2021

Bio tech startup Melt & Marble, which was formerly known as Biopetrolia, has closed a €750,000 (US$879,000) seed funding round with the aim of creating fats that “close the taste gap between animal and plant-based meats.”

Read more 
Study: Two-thirds of US children’s calories come from ultra-processed foods

Study: Two-thirds of US children’s calories come from ultra-processed foods

1 Sep 2021

As of 2018, youth in the U.S. consume 67% of their calories from ultra-processed foods, according to a new study published in JAMA. Between 1999 and 2018, there was a jump of 5.6 percentage points in the number of calories coming from foods like cookie...

Read more 
Bite Ninja integrates virtually, disrupts traditional QSR staffing

Bite Ninja integrates virtually, disrupts traditional QSR staffing

30 Aug 2021

Memphis-based entrepreneurs Will Clem and Orin Wilson raised $675,000 in pre-seed funding for their startup Bite Ninja in a round led by Y Combinator, AgFunder and Manta Ray. The funds will be used to scale up their technology which allows for ad-hoc v...

Read more 
Hard Mtn Dew to launch through a PepsiCo-Boston Beer partnership

Hard Mtn Dew to launch through a PepsiCo-Boston Beer partnership

27 Aug 2021

From a new partnership between Big Beer and Big Soda comes Hard Mtn Dew, a flavored malt beverage with 5% ABV. The alcoholic drink will be available to consumers beginning in early 2022.

Read more