“At Foodbuy, we both believe and are passionate about “Purpose-led Procurement”. As market leaders in our industry, we embrace both our responsibility and opportunity to connect both our Member Clients and our Supply Partners through amazing programs focussed on sustainability, community and the positive power of nutrition”.
Our multiple programs, from carbon footprint through ATSI and SME supply chain investment is embodied through our “WorldFirstTM” platform and where every initiative is focused on being a positive contribution and “Better For The World”.
A key pillar of our WorldFirstTM approach is our commitment to animal welfare and to the highest standards across our national supply chain – from the paddock to your plate.
We care about, and invest deeply in, farm animal welfare, just as we know that our Clients, and in turn their consumers, care too.
Together with our Clients and our Supply Partners we can make a big difference to the quality of life of the animals farmed for the food on our plates when we choose to source from farms that make animal welfare a priority. That’s why we are proud of our long-standing partnership with the RSPCA and in our commitment to source our fresh chicken from Australian suppliers within the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme.1
There’s no doubt, chicken is the protein of choice for many Australians. In fact, it’s estimated that the average Australian will eat approximately 46.4kg of chicken meat in 2020-2021. We also know that more Australians are looking for third-party audited animal welfare certification and that 4 out of 5 Australians look for ‘RSPCA Approved’ when purchasing chicken.2
This alignment of values underpins the Foodbuy investment and commitment to ensure our fresh chicken supply chain is sourced from farms that participate in the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme. Through this scheme, the RSPCA teams work closely with farmers committed to meeting the RSPCA’s detailed animal welfare standards. The RSPCA considers that the welfare of an animal includes both physical and mental states and that ensuring good animal welfare goes beyond minimising negative experiences, to ensure animals can express their natural behaviour in an enriching environment, feel safe, have healthy positive experiences and good quality of life. So, farmers that meet these standards work hard to provide animals with all the necessary elements to ensure their physical and mental state and a sense of positive individual wellbeing.
Chickens on RSPCA Approved farms are encouraged to be active, in conditions that support their natural behaviours and ultimately lead to better health and welfare. Birds can perch (improving muscular and skeletal strength), dustbathe (shaking dust through their feathers to keep clean) and peck and forage (to keep entertained).
For a meat chicken, conditions inside the sheds are important. Even on free-range farms, a chicken raised for meat will spend the majority of its life indoors. They have a relatively short lifespan (5-7 weeks) and will usually spend the first 3 weeks indoors – until they have their adult feathers and can be outside in the weather safely. They will also be housed indoors overnight to protect them from predators which is why the RSPCA standards focus on good housing conditions including quality litter covering the floor, adequate perches, lighting that encourages the birds to move around during the day alongside dark periods to allow them to rest at night and the temperature controls to keep birds comfortable. To check these standards are being consistently met, an RSPCA Assessor will visit the farms 2-4 times a year, visiting everywhere where animals are housed.
The RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme has had a major influence on chicken farming in Australia. Since releasing their first animal welfare standards for meat chickens in 2010, more than 2.5 billion chickens have benefitted from the investment in these better conditions. By working closely with the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme, our Supply Partners and participating producers, Foodbuy are supporting farmers that make animal welfare a priority and ensuring that the growing consumer expectations in this area will indeed contribute to being “Better for the World”
1: excludes frozen and prepared/processed products.
2: AgriFutures Chicken Meat, Market insights for Australia’s chicken meat industry 2021.