“The well-being of animals used in the production of foods for our restaurants is very important. We work 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 share our commitment to humane handling of 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
We have 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. 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 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
In 2012, the Animal Welfare Advisory Council met at the University of Georgia to review current Broiler Welfare audits and to discuss the continuing suitability of American Meat Institute Audits as welfare assessment tools for swine and beef. The Council discussed animal welfare policies and audits across Yum! Brands global operations, reviewed a new electrical stun technology and were briefed on alternative sow housing options.
The consistency of establishing set standards for our Brands has allowed our suppliers to concentrate on compliance and continuous improvement. Formal, across the board adoption of 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 with the Yum! Restaurants International (YRI) team to align our core values on animal welfare around the world, creating audit documents and policies that address issues of well-being and create an environment that will assure continuous improvement.
Our suppliers continue to perform admirably with regard to animal welfare issues, understanding fully the requirements of the Yum! 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. Yum! also continues 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 always seek knowledge from external sources to improve our practices where appropriate. In the U.S., KFC works with the American Association of Avian Pathologists (AAAP) and has previously served on two AAAP Welfare subcommittees. Yum! is viewed by experts in academia and industry as possessing valuable insight about advancing animal welfare; addressing legitimate issues with prudence and deliberation to assure incremental improvement.
Yum! Restaurants International (YRI) 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 bes 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 to date has fostered a trusting partnership, to add the point that 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 collected from each supplier is analyzed, ranked and benchmarked against the best performers in the Yum! Supply Chain. Through this process, suppliers are informed of their strengths and weaknesses compared to other players in the 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.
The UK program continues to be a strong and highly collaborative effort between our UK business and its suppliers of local and imported product. In 2011, KFC UK achieved Red Tractor certification for our fresh British chicken on the bone. It is an independent mark of quality and welfare standards for our British fresh chicken. We were also recognized for our commitment to move to free-range eggs in the UK. While all elements of the YRI program are adhered to in this market, additional local regulatory requirements are incorporated.
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 the Yum! and YRI 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 will adopt a singular 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.