McDonald’s Australia recently introduced fully RSPCA approved chicken to all dishes in restaurants across the country.
The decision to switch to RSPCA-approved chicken comes as McDonald’s continues to expand its menu, with new chicken items announced in 2021.
A new selection of chicken salads and wraps was announced last month as McDonald’s continues to unveil more chicken items on the menu, including new chicken burgers expected later this year.
“We recently launched a new line of chicken wraps and salads, and later this year we will be adding new burgers and different types of chicken products to our national menu,” said Kylie Freeland, director of the McDonald’s Australia supply chain and sustainability. .to.
She added that McDonald’s had “played with new flavors of chicken” that will be added to the menu.
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Ms Freeland said the change was due to customers saying “chicken was really important to them” – but we’ll have to wait until later this year before we see the new menu items.
McDonald’s decided to only use RSPCA approved chicken in February this year, which means its chicken suppliers – Ingham’s, Turosi and Baiada – participate in regular assessments to ensure their farms meet high standards. of RSPCA Animal Welfare.
Ms Freeland said the treatment of farm animals is important to the business because it is important to customers and said the decision to switch to RSPCA-approved chicken allows Macca to make the food sustainably sourced. more accessible to Australians.
A supporter of Australian agriculture for 50 years, McDonald’s used more than 15.7 million kilograms of chicken from the Australian chicken industry in 2019.
“For a long time, most of our chicken has been RSPCA approved,” Ms. Freeland said, adding that all chicken used by McDonald’s must now meet these more stringent criteria.
In 2017, McDonald’s Australia converted the 85 million eggs it uses each year to cage-free eggs, a step in the direction of more sustainable business practices.
“We are committed to supporting Australian agriculture and improving the welfare of our chickens,” added Freeland.
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“One of the most significant ways to improve the lives of farm animals is to provide them with access to an environment that meets their individual needs and encourages them to express their natural behaviors,” said Freeland.
“We have a responsibility to provide our customers with transparent information on how we are working to improve the health and welfare of animals in our supply chain. “
RSPCA Australia CEO Richard Mussell said the top priority for Australians is to care about the treatment and welfare of Australian farm animals.
“By sourcing chicken from farms participating in the RSPCA-approved breeding program, McDonald’s is showing that they care too, and so do their customers,” he said.
“We know that for good animal welfare, broilers should be raised in a way that prioritizes their welfare and allows them to express normal behaviors, such as roosting, bathing. dust and search for food, ”Mussell added.
“Ensuring that all chickens raised for McDonald’s meet RSPCA standards will have a profound impact on the lives of millions of Australian birds every year. “
Ingham chief executive and CEO Jim Leighton said McDonald’s has been a major business partner for more than 30 years.
“The welfare of our chickens is of critical importance to us and our farmers,” he said. “Chickens need to be kept in an environment where they are comfortable, protected from injury, pain and predation, optimally fed and able to express important social and other behaviors appropriate to their age. “