Unilever to phase out factory-farmed chicken

RNW archive

This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011, the Dutch government decided to cut funding and shift RNW from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW Media’s current activities can be found at https://www.rnw.org/about-rnw-media.

Anglo-Dutch food giant Unilever has announced it will phase out the use of factory-farmed chicken in its products.

In Dutch, factory-farmed chickens are commonly known as plofkip - blown-up chicken – because they are bred and drugged to grow so large so fast that they are ready for slaughter in just 42 days. Their organs and legs cannot keep up with their accelerated rate of growth, so heart attacks, organ failure and leg deformities are common.

Unilever informed animal rights organisation Wakker Dier that it plans to start phasing out the use of factory-farmed animals in the first quarter of next year, beginning with its chicken hot dogs and later following with its soups and other food products.

Unilever has told Wakker Dier that the industrially farmed chicken will be replaced with chicken which qualifies for at least one star in the Dutch ‘better life’ meat production rankings. One-star chickens are not bred as quickly and have access to a covered outdoor area.


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide