CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Compass Group USA and the animal welfare certification program Global Animal Partnership (GAP) announced a historic and unique partnership to transform the welfare of chickens within Compass' supply chain. This will be GAP's first-ever partnership with a food service company and will result in improving the lives of approximately 60 million broiler chickens per year. With this announcement, Compass becomes the first food service company to commit to healthier, slower growing strains of chickens, improved living conditions and more humane slaughter.
Compass is agreeing to ensure certification under GAP's 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating program for all broiler chickens as a buying requirement across 100 percent of their business by 2024. Key areas of the standard will include: a. using approved genetic strains and meeting criteria for any new strains, to be assessed b. enrichments including hay bales, perches, and natural light, c. and minimum space requirements (6lbs/square foot). Compass has also agreed to require, by 2024, that all broilers in its supply chain be rendered unconscious prior to shackling using a method of Controlled Atmosphere Killing. Compass will also annually benchmark its progress, and publically report performance. Rick Post, COO Compass Group USA, said, "This partnership underscores our Envision 2020 principles and creates positive impact for people, animals and the planet while balancing social, environmental and ethical responsibility with commercial success. Very simply, it's just the right thing to do."