Last Updated on April 12, 2023
At ButcherBox, our mission is to bring high-quality meat to our members while ensuring the humane and sustainable treatment of our animals. To us, there is no way to substitute quality standards which is why we always pay special attention to every detail of how an animal is raised — Did they live a healthy and content life? Did they ever receive antibiotics or hormones? Those are some of the many questions we ask.
As the founder of ButcherBox, my job is to stay accountable to this mission and continue to move the needle in how we deem quality across all of our meat cuts.
That’s why today, we’re announcing our commitment to improving the lives of broiler chickens in the supply chain by 2024. While companies like Applegate, Panera, and many others have also made this commitment, ButcherBox is among the first e-commerce subscription companies to make this commitment.
What does this new commitment mean?
In furthering our effort to better source our products, we are proud of the work we’ve done with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA®) to align with their broiler chicken welfare policy. By 2024, or before, we are committed to source 100 percent of our chicken from either the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) or the Global Animal Partnership (GAP)-approved breeds/strains. All our chicken will be certified and labeled by GAP to verify a better living environment for chickens including more space and enrichment, better lighting and litter conditions.
Also, by 2024, or before, ButcherBox will require all chickens to be processed using controlled atmosphere stunning (CAS), which is widely considered more humane.
Through working with the ASPCA on this process, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with Nancy Roulston, director of corporate policy for the ASPCA Farm Animal Welfare Program, who had shared in her words the importance of commitments from our company and others in the industry.
“ButcherBox’s new commitment to broiler chickens reflects their dedication to support a better way of farming, and the ASPCA is proud to have collaborated with their team in the development of this policy. As public awareness and concern over the treatment of farm animals continues to grow, it is exciting that forward-thinking, e-commerce companies like ButcherBox are embracing animal welfare certification to become a real option for conscientious eaters looking for food options that align with their values.”
What does this mean for our members?
Looking toward the future and delivering on our promises, ButcherBox will continue to be a leader in pushing for higher animal-welfare standards while also providing great value to our current and future members.
We’re proud of the progress we’ve made with our partners to this point and are working hard to close the gap on the remaining elements, particularly the approved breeds.
- Stocking Density: 100% of our chicken suppliers maintain a maximum stocking density of 6.0 lbs./square foot and prohibit all forms of broiler cages
- Environment: Litter, Lighting, Enrichments: 100% of our chicken suppliers provide birds with at least 3 inches of friable litter, 8 hours of continuous light and 6 hours of continuous darkness daily, and one or more types of functional enrichment that multiple birds can use at any time.
- CAS: 75% of the chickens we source are processed in a manner that avoids pre-stun handling and instead utilizes a multi-step controlled-atmosphere processing system that induces an irreversible stun.
- Breed: At this point, none of the chickens we source are an approved breed by the Better Chicken Commitment.
In recent months, as the Better Chicken Commitment (BCC) has shared more specific recommendations on breeds, we have been exploring our product options and are committed to adding a BCC approved chicken to our ButcherBox product offering by the end of 2024. This chicken will meet all BCC recommendations on stocking density, litter, lighting, enrichments, CAS, and breed.
One thing we’ve learned since signing onto this commitment in 2019 is that customers want a variety of options as they select products for their box. We believe that offering a variety of chicken products is important to enhancing customer choice. For example, different breeds can lead to differences in the taste and texture. This is why we are excited to offer a chicken option that meets all BBC recommendations, including breed. This gives our valued customers the option to choose a BCC approved chicken, while not fully transitioning our entire chicken supply to align with all BCC requirements.
ButcherBox remains dedicated to sourcing and delivering the highest quality meat and seafood to our customers. We will do this by ensuring the health and welfare of animals, valuing our suppliers, farmers, and ranchers, and making responsible environmental decisions.