Two large Dutch supermarkets have confirmed that, from 2023, they will no longer store chicken without food quality certification. This means that supermarkets will only offer free-distance chicken.
Additional Dutch supermarkets to offer customers only free-range chicken
Both Albert Hein and Little are committed to improving the quality of meat served in their stores, with Albert Hein declaring that he will only store chicken with at least one excellent life star. Little was quick to follow in Albert’s footsteps, announcing their decision this week, saying spokeswoman Marion Verheiz “will make a significant contribution to improving the quality of life of the chickens.”
Anne Hillhorst, spokeswoman for Walker Dyer, an animal rights organization, was keenly aware of the department stores’ announcements: “These are the biggest steps in the supermarket’s animal welfare for years. He hopes the decision will affect the lives of tens of thousands of chickens each year, and that many supermarket chains will follow in their footsteps.
While Little and Albert Haygen’s results mark a significant step in the move to protect animal welfare in agriculture, they are not the first supermarkets in the Netherlands to offer only free-range poultry – Koop, Decamark, and Dirk made the same move back in 2019.
What do Dutch food quality stickers mean?
You can find the best living stars in many meat and dairy products in your local supermarket, with a total of three stars available for each product. The more stars a product has, the more animal friendly it will be. A star pays close attention to animal welfare (i.e. location, sunlight / daylight), while three stars provide significant indoor and outdoor space for animals to rest and live.
Currently, most chickens sold in Dutch supermarkets have failed to reach even one star. According to Walker Tire, the coops are packed with 13 to 17 chickens per square meter, with very few people even looking at daylight hours.