The well-being of animals used in the production of foods for our restaurants is very important. Yum! Brands works closely with the experts on our Animal Welfare Advisory Council to ensure application of science-based, humane animal handling practices. Our suppliers are expected to humanely handle animals and we monitor their performance. Our goal is to work only with suppliers that demonstrate and maintain compliance with animal welfare practices.
Animal Welfare Advisory Council
Yum! Brands has a track record of leadership in animal welfare. Our U.S. animal welfare leadership program began with the formation of the Animal Welfare Advisory Council in 2003. The Council helps us to continuously research new methods for both welfare advancement and viability that will ultimately determine the adoption of improved practices.
The Council was instrumental in developing the Guiding Principles for our Animal Welfare Program. These Principles, which apply to all poultry, pork, and beef suppliers across the U.S., focus on:
- Animal treatment
- Partnership with industry experts
- Ongoing training and education
- Performance quantification and supplier improvement
- Communication with industry leaders
The consistency of establishing set standards for our brands has allowed our suppliers to concentrate on compliance and continuous improvement.
The adoption of the American Meat Institute slaughter audit protocols for both beef and pork suppliers empowered our suppliers to focus their efforts in accordance with these well established and broadly respected standards.
Additionally, the Council has been working closely to align on core values on animal welfare globally, creating audit documents and policies that address issues of well-being and establish an environment that assure continuous improvement.
Our suppliers continue to work diligently with us regarding animal welfare issues, understanding the requirements of our program and the expectations of our customers. The chicken, beef and pork industries have addressed these issues earnestly and positively, recognizing that their customers and ours require assurance that animal welfare is taken seriously. We also continue to be a positive force in promoting good welfare practices and the necessity for validation within the industry. We are frequently invited to speak to industry groups, as well as government and public symposia, about animal welfare issues and developments.
While our standards for animal welfare are high, we seek knowledge from external sources to improve our practices where appropriate. In the U.S., KFC has contributed to the work of the American Association of Avian Pathologists (AAAP) and has previously been represented on two AAAP Welfare subcommittees. Yum! Brands is viewed by experts in academia and our industry as possessing valuable insight about advancing animal welfare; addressing legitimate issues with prudence and deliberation to foster incremental improvement.
Yum! Brands established the Global Animal Welfare Program with input from the U.S., UK and our Animal Welfare Advisory Council. This program, which is based in science and best practice, allows for adjustments to cover local needs and regulations.
This global program promotes a consultancy approach to drive a better understanding of our objectives and animal welfare in general, especially with respect to developing countries. Our collaborative approach with suppliers has fostered a trusting partnership and we are asked to provide input when challenges arise. We also encourage our suppliers to invest in research and development that leads to improvements in animal welfare.
Partnering with our suppliers on a journey of common goals and continuous improvement has resulted in a balanced approach benefiting animals, suppliers and our consumers who appreciate knowing that their food is coming from an ethical source.
We have seen significant positive trends in performance indicators of good animal health and well-being from our suppliers. Performance data is analyzed, ranked and benchmarked against the best performers in the Yum! Brands Supply Chain. Through this process, suppliers are informed of their strengths and weaknesses compared to other players in our supply chain, thus encouraging improvement in key areas.
In Australia, industry leaders, state, territory and Australian governments and Animal Welfare Groups have developed animal welfare codes of practice for the poultry industry. This continues to be governed by the Australian Chicken Meat Federation, Inc. (ACMF). Annual audits are carried out by third-party auditors and corrective actions are taken for missed items. Suppliers also provide quarterly updates for review via self-auditing programs. KFC Australia requires its chicken suppliers to be members of the Australian Chicken Meat Federation and to follow the Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals, Domestic Poultry. We want our suppliers to care about their flocks and to be proud of their record in raising healthy birds. They have high standards of bird welfare making sure their chickens are well-fed, healthy and comfortable.
In the U.K., our program continues to be a strong and highly collaborative effort. As part of our commitment to transparency, there is continued focus on the provenance of our chickens. We leverage the voice of our U.K. General Manager, Martin Shuker, to help share our story with consumers. For example, he visited chicken farms to meet with Red Tractor auditors to discuss the welfare standards of our chickens and showcase our short and simple supply chain. These efforts were then featured on our Facebook page to support open and honest conversations with our customers.
As we move ahead, we are working to synchronize our animal welfare programs and policies. Integrating universal animal welfare principles that properly account for the issues of food safety and security in the developing world has been our primary focus. In 2012, representatives from Yum! Brands Quality Assurance teams calibrated with third party auditors in Brazil, a major exporter of broiler products, to assure alignment with our policies and standards. We believe that establishing foundational principles for animal well-being while recognizing regional priorities and respecting the cultures of our customers around the world is an achievable goal.
In the near future, we have plans to adopt a single poultry welfare audit throughout our system. Additionally, we will continue to demonstrate our commitment to animal welfare by working to constitute audits and policies that align our program for beef and pork.