Chipotle Raises Its Animal Welfare Standards

Chipotle operates 2,500 stores. ( Chipotle )

Chipotle Mexican Grill announced it will sign the European Chicken Commitment, a pact that demands even higher animal welfare standards in Europe by 2026. Having already signed on to the U.S.-based Better Chicken Commitment for 2024 goals, Chipotle extends that commitment to its Canadian operations, too.

"Excellence in animal welfare has been in Chipotle's DNA since it was founded and continues to be a top priority for us more than 25 years later," said Yael Cypers, manager of Chipotle’s animal welfare program, in a news release. "We are pleased to be extending our commitment to now include Europe and Canada."

The news release said Chipotle is committed to cultivating a better world, which means sourcing responsibly raised ingredients. Chipotle says it has pioneered the priority for food made from real ingredients and avoids the use of subtherapeutic antibiotics and synthetic hormones.

Using standards aligned with the new requirements of the Global Animal Partnership's (GAP) standard for broiler chickens, Chipotle will work to achieve the following goals by 2024 in the U.S. and Canada and 2026 in Europe:

  • Improved breeding by transition to genetic strains of birds that will grow slower and allow for better welfare outcomes
  • Provide more space by reducing maximum stocking density to six pounds per square foot
  • Give chickens housing that includes improved lighting, litter and floor enrichments that allow chickens to express natural behaviors
  • Process chickens in a manner that utilizes a multi-step controlled-atmosphere processing system

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Submitted by Chet on Tue, 10/15/2019 - 07:16

Does that also mean they are going to pay more attention to the quality of their vegetables that they serve. As I recall, more people have become ill after consuming bad greens.

And while we are on the subject...what constitutes "real" chicken? Do "chicken" chunks made from liquidated chicken parts and molded into a shape really count as real chicken? I refuse to accept that. Something as heavily processed as chicken "nuggets" or whatever shouldn't be sold to humans.

Submitted by Sbaker on Tue, 10/15/2019 - 07:53

Good comment Chet. Like you I remember the food borne illnesses by the 100s generated by Chipotle's unsanitary handling of "food". The source of these infectious diseases was not the meat, but the vegetables. Some were fecal contaminants from Chipotle's food handlers that did not wash their hands following bathroom use. Disgusting. The article about Chipotle is nothing but an advertisement for Chipotle and their virtue signaling--it should be classified as such.

In reply to by Chet (not verified)