Germany’s REWE Group and the Albert Schweitzer Foundation have agreed on establishing higher minimum standards in the European poultry market.
Both parties recently concluded several months of negotiations on the European Broiler Chicken Initiative and identified several common goals.
Hans-Jürgen Moog, divisional director of purchasing at REWE Group, said, “We expressly welcome the European Broiler Chicken Initiative in its efforts to establish higher minimum standards in the poultry sector in Europe - we are united in this concern.
“The formulated goals are important guidelines for us to work intensively within the Initiative Tierwohl (Animal Welfare Initiative) as an association of agriculture, the meat industry and food retail in Germany on the further development and expansion of the animal welfare criteria of the husbandry stages. To this end, we remain in close contact with the Albert Schweitzer Foundation.”
The retailer also announced a number of measures to achieve its goals related to animal welfare.
From 2030, REWE Group will set husbandry type 3 as the minimum standard across its entire fresh meat range, including chickens, pigs, turkeys and cattle.
The retailer has pledged to implement the requirements of the European Broiler Chicken Initiative within the Animal Welfare Initiative.
It has also called on politicians to remove legal hurdles for building new stables as quickly as possible and provide necessary subsidies to farmers.
In Germany, the construction of barns aligning with better animal welfare standards encounters resistance as the procedure for obtaining building permits drags on for years, after a tough approval process.
'A Binding Agreement'
Mahi Klosterhalfen, president and CEO of the Albert Schweitzer Foundation, said, “I am pleased that we were able to reach a binding agreement with REWE Group on essential points. The Animal Welfare Initiative's husbandry system, which in our view is still incomplete today, must undergo a noticeable change in the short term.
“The phasing out of husbandry form levels 1 and 2, as well as the concrete further development of the animal welfare criteria within the husbandry form on the basis of the requirements of the European Broiler Chicken Initiative, are important steps in this regard."