February 27, 2017
T.G.I Friday's Announces Chicken Welfare Policy
Casual dining chain joins competitors in adopting progressive policies to eliminate the worst abuses in chicken factory farming
(Dallas, TX - Feb. 27, 2017) – TGI Friday’s today announced its timeline to eliminate fast-growth chickens from its supply chain by 2024. The restaurant’s new policies address the worst abuses in its U.S. chicken supply chain, impacting the entire life cycles - the genetics, environment, and deaths - of the chickens in factory farming. Currently, these chickens are bred to have the genetic makeup that forces them to grow to a grotesquely large size at a rapid rate, meaning birds that naturally would have weighed 3.8lbs at slaughter age now weigh up to 9lbs.
“As more mainstream restaurants commit to improve the conditions for chickens in their supply chains, it is evident that these policies will soon be the industry standard,” said David Coman-Hidy, Executive Director of The Humane League. “TGI Friday’s new policy will provide chickens with basic protections on factory farms that they have not been afforded in the past.”
In detail, TGI Friday’s policies demand that its suppliers commit to slower growing species of chickens on its farms per Global Animal Partnership’s (GAP) standards. These higher welfare chickens are more active and healthy, requiring less antibiotics and fewer veterinary visits. Currently, virtually all chickens farmed in America have been selectively bred to grow so large so fast that they become crippled under their own body weight, resulting in injuries, immense suffering, and sometimes early death. Additionally, the new policies require suppliers to enhance the living environments and stocking density of all of their chickens, as aligned to GAP standards. The restaurant has also demanded that its suppliers eliminate the live-shackling slaughter methods for chickens and instead opt for controlled or low atmosphere stunning methods. Starbucks has committed to provide details on compliance to these new policies by a third party auditor.
This monumental policy is a part of The Humane League’s 88% Campaign, a series of strategic campaigns addressing the worst abuses in factory farming against chickens raised for meat, who represent a staggering 88.7% of all farm land animals in the United States. Today’s announcement will affect the chicken products sold in approximately 1,000 TGI Friday’s locations in the United States. The Humane League’s brief campaign against TGI Friday’s included strategic actions from staff, volunteers, and members of Fast Action Network (an online platform curated by The Humane League that includes over 2,800 advocates) to fuel a consistent push against the restaurant on multiple platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and direct emails.
As part of The Humane League’s 88% Campaign, this new set of policies represent the only protections afforded to these chickens in the United States. There are presently no federal laws to protect these animals. Recently, The Humane League helped secure similar policies from Starbucks, Shake Shack, Panera, California Pizza Kitchen, and four of the five largest food service providers in the United States, including Sodexo, Aramark, Compass Group, Centerplate, and Delaware North.