At Co-op, we believe that good quality food and animal welfare go hand in hand.
That goes for our chickens, too. Our 100% fresh British chicken is reared by members of Co-op Chicken Group, farmers we know and trust to raise the chickens to our strict welfare standards. These standards include the criteria that our chickens:
- Grow using a balanced diet designed to provide good health
- Have windows in sheds to offer natural light
- Have resting time and hours of darkness per day
- Can stimulate natural behaviour through environmental enrichment in the housing such as straw bales
Together with this Group of more than 60 farmers, we are focused on delivering quality chicken and a transparent supply chain you can trust, so you know exactly what you’re getting – and where it comes from.
Our farmers receive a premium price for their chicken, as well as the chance to meet with fellow Group members three times a year to discuss industry issues, share best practice and drive improvements.
Why should I buy chicken from The Co-operative?
Where is your chicken sourced from?
All our fresh chicken and chilled prepared meals containing chicken are 100% British, sourced from farms in England and Scotland.
How do you know that the birds are well cared for?
All our standard fresh chicken is raised to our high animal welfare standards. This means that we ensure our chickens have a balanced diet designed to provide good health, significant natural light from windows within the housing, resting time and hours of darkness per day. They are also able to stimulate natural behaviour through environmental enrichment in the housing such as straw bales.
Our chicken farmers are all accredited to a national farm assurance scheme, such as Red Tractor, which ensures high standards of animal welfare. These schemes cover aspects such as the housing of animals and stocking densities, feed and water, health and veterinary controls, breeding, traceability and transportation.
Find out more about The Co-operative’s commitments to animal welfare.
How do farmers benefit from being part of The Co-operative Chicken Group?
As part of The Co-operative Chicken Group, our farmers are guaranteed a premium price for their chicken, allowing them to invest for the future. They also have the opportunity to meet three times a year with their fellow Group members to discuss industry issues, share best practice and drive improvements.
We are proud to support our chicken farmers. As well as providing these opportunities for knowledge exchange, and paying a price premium, we continue to invest in initiatives and projects to benefit the wider farming community.
How does working with farmers directly benefit me?
While The Co-operative Chicken Group aims to encourage best practice among farmers and to give them profitable returns, it also ensures that we can provide you, our customers, with high-quality chicken at a great price. Creating long-term relationships with farmers means we can give you complete transparency in our chicken supply chain too, which is built on honesty, fairness and trust. Ultimately, we are giving you the opportunity to join us on our journey to continually invest and support British farming.
Meet the chicken farmer: Robert Wornham
In the first year of Co-op Chicken Group, Robert Wornham from Hertfordshire was awarded a silver standard for his high performance across the Co-op Pillar Model.
Robert has been passionate about producing great quality chicken from a very young age and has a long-term relationship with our chicken supplier, having worked with them since 1996. He looks after 126,000 broiler chickens alongside 160 acres of arable land, where litter from poultry housing is used as an important source of fertiliser.
The farm underwent a series of alterations and improvements recently, including the installation of solar panels, a biomass boiler and heat exchangers in poultry houses, which has proved highly beneficial in reducing the farm’s energy usage and wasted heat. Not only has the farm’s carbon footprint significantly reduced, the heat exchangers also offer the opportunity to better manage the atmosphere within the houses, providing an enhanced environment for both the birds and staff alike.
Robert’s forward, positive and progressive thinking, along with his drive to increase efficiency, reflects exactly what The Co-operative is looking to achieve across all of our Farming Groups.