UK upmarket retailer Marks and Spencer is to become the first supermarket to only sell slower-reared, higher welfare chicken across its full range of fresh poultry products. From Autumn 2022, all fresh chicken sold by Marks and Spencer will be slower-reared, British and RSPCA Assured, demonstrating the retailer’s commitment in this area.
The slower-reared birds are fed on a multigrain diet, specifically designed to support slower natural growth and muscle development. Stuart Machin, company MD, said the firm had a long history of leading on animal welfare and were the first retailer to sign up to the Better Chicken Commitment, the first to move to 100% free range eggs. Clive Brazier, RSPCA Assured CE, said the company was now the first retailer to move all of its fresh chicken to RSPCA Assured, which would provide more choice for welfare-conscious shoppers: “it’s a major achievement for helping improve chicken welfare. Chris Sherwood, RSPCA chief executive, described Marks and Spencer’s actions as a landmark achievement for animal welfare, which “we hope will set a leading example for others in the sector.”