PD HOOK has said it will support the Better Chicken Commitment (BCC) if the market moves towards it.
Director Patrick Hook said the firm had always reared birds to the standard and above, and that it would respond if consumers and its own customers asked for it.
“If demand increases and people are prepared to pay for it then we will place those birds – we enjoy growing chickens to the standard, and have existing relationships with the breed suppliers,” he explained.
But Mr Hook warned that birds reared to the BCC, which are stocked at 30kg/ sq m and are slower-growing breeds, had a higher environmental and economic cost.
In the UK, companies such as Marks & Spencers, Waitrose, Nandos and KFC have said they will switch to the BCC by 2026.
Campaigners are now hoping that either an influential brand like McDonald’s or a major player in the market like Tesco, will do the same.
Michelle Baxter Wickham, corporate outreach manager at Animal Equality UK, said: “It was clear from the first meeting with P.D. Hook (Hatcheries) Ltd. that they were on board with the BCC and they are already producing birds to this standard.
“With over 300 companies, globally, signed up to the Better Chicken Commitment, it’s unsurprising that P.D. Hook (Hatcheries) Ltd is investing in these practices.
“This pledge assures companies that there will be sufficient supply come 2026.”