Chipotle Mexican Grill announced it will sign the European Chicken Commitment, a pact that demands even higher animal welfare standards in Europe by 2026. Having already signed on to the U.S.-based Better Chicken Commitment for 2024 goals, Chipotle extends that commitment to its Canadian operations, too.
"Excellence in animal welfare has been in Chipotle's DNA since it was founded and continues to be a top priority for us more than 25 years later," said Yael Cypers, manager of Chipotle’s animal welfare program, in a news release. "We are pleased to be extending our commitment to now include Europe and Canada."
The news release said Chipotle is committed to cultivating a better world, which means sourcing responsibly raised ingredients. Chipotle says it has pioneered the priority for food made from real ingredients and avoids the use of subtherapeutic antibiotics and synthetic hormones.
Using standards aligned with the new requirements of the Global Animal Partnership's (GAP) standard for broiler chickens, Chipotle will work to achieve the following goals by 2024 in the U.S. and Canada and 2026 in Europe:
- Improved breeding by transition to genetic strains of birds that will grow slower and allow for better welfare outcomes
- Provide more space by reducing maximum stocking density to six pounds per square foot
- Give chickens housing that includes improved lighting, litter and floor enrichments that allow chickens to express natural behaviors
- Process chickens in a manner that utilizes a multi-step controlled-atmosphere processing system