Nestlé S.A., Switzerland, announced plans to improve the welfare of millions of chickens used for food in Europe through its Herta, Buitoni, Wagner and Maggi brands.

Taking a phased approach, Nestlé will actively work with supply chain partners and stakeholders to improve living conditions for chickens, ensure the use of more humane practices and reduce stocking density. By 2026, all Nestlé food products in Europe that use chicken as an ingredient will move to one higher standard for welfare as per the requirements set out in the European Broiler Ask (Better Chicken Commitment).

“Consumers want to know where their food comes from and how it is made,” says Marco Settembri, chief executive officer of Nestlé Zone Europe, Middle East and North Africa. “As part of our commitment to source ingredients responsibly, we will improve welfare standards for millions of chickens used in our food products in Europe, including our Herta, Buitoni, Wagner and Maggi ranges.”

Chilled meat brand Herta will make changes in the sourcing of chicken beginning Jan. 1, 2019, as part of the longer-term transition to higher welfare standards. These products will be available under the existing Herta 'Preference' mark in France.

Nestlé will engage suppliers and stakeholders to assess how chicken ingredients sourced for its Buitoni, Wagner and Maggi brands and entire food portfolio can meet higher welfare standards while maintaining consumer access to high-quality product choices.