As a first retailer to do so, Dutch supermarket Deen has conceded to welfare pressures and has announced it will stop selling conventionally produced chicken without an animal welfare label.
Some while ago, Dutch pressure group Wakker Dier introduced the term ‘plofkip’ (which could be translated as ‘exploding chicken’) - a derogatory name given to birds that have been grown commercially, with an emphasis on efficient growth.
The group began a campaign against supermarkets selling ‘plofkip’ in January this year using high-profile people to support the cause. Diverse big brands within the country including Unilever, Domino’s Pizza and Johma have already announced a move away from the use of ‘plofkip’ to chickens with a recognised welfare star. Deen is now the first major supermarket to announce that all poultry products will now carry the “Better life” welfare star.
Deen has 63 stores in the north of Holland and is in the top 10 largest supermarkets in the Netherlands.
With respect to quick growth, Wakker Dier usually points to strongly improved feed efficiency between 1950 and now. The pressure group claims that, through emphasis on unilateral breeding, animals suffer from painful diseases and illnesses. The group states the animals’ welfare is severely compromised as the growth of the legs, skeleton, heart and lungs lags behind the growth of the pectoral muscle (fillet).
The animal welfarists hope all supermarkets will eventually announce a similar move.