IKEA Food Better Programmes support shift towards better animal welfare and a more sustainable food system
At IKEA Food Services AB, we want our business to have a positive impact on people, animals and the planet. Guided by the IKEA values, sustainability is an integrated part of everything we do.
Over the last several years IKEA Food Services has been working, with input from key stakeholders, to refine our ambition around sustainable agriculture and develop holistic programmes, the IKEA Food Better Programmes, to address key areas where we can achieve the biggest impact. Our ambition is for these programmes to be implemented for all species at the latest by 2025. As part of the IKEA Food business direction we want to move towards more plant-based and low impact foods while at the same time reduce food waste, indirectly reducing the number of animals in our supply chain.
The IKEA Food Better Programmes
IKEA Food is currently finalizing the Better Programmes as a global baseline for animal welfare; public health; and our environmental footprint at the farm level. They are species-specific, covering all the major animal species in our food supply chain (broiler chickens, laying hens, dairy cattle, beef cattle, pigs, and salmon).
- At IKEA Food, we believe that all animals in our supply chain should live decent lives. This means that the environments animals are reared in, the way animals are handled, and standard on-farm practices must prioritize good physical health, good mental health, and the expression of natural behaviour.
- At IKEA Food, we recognize that human health and animal health are linked. We aim to help curb the spread of antibiotic resistance by focusing on eliminating the routine use of antibiotics and phasing out highest priority critically important antibiotics for human medicine.
- At IKEA Food, we take responsibility for reducing the environmental footprint in all our raw materials. We will aim to ensure that animal feed does not contribute to deforestation and that animal manure is managed to maintain soil health and protect water-courses.
These programmes consist of specific “better” principles based on current science, expert opinion, and supplier feedback. These programmes will elevate our current sourcing criteria and provide a research agenda for on-farm trials to drive future innovation and continuous improvement. We are currently working in close collaboration with several supply chain partners to plan, pilot and roll-out these programmes with an initial focus on broiler chickens. The Better Chicken Programme key principles include:
Better Space: Increasing the space allowance for individual chickens
Better Lighting: Normal light/dark patterns over the course of a day
Better Behaviour: Providing meaningful enrichment to promote important natural behaviour
Better Health: Flock health plans and daily health checks
Better Management: Securing appropriate environmental conditions with a focus on litter quality, air quality, and thermal comfort
The Better Programme research agenda for farm trials build on these principles by identifying key focus areas for continuous improvement.
In addition to farm-level programmes we are addressing labour practices through our existing IWAY standard and seek to improve animal welfare during transport and slaughter using the IKEA transport and slaughter standard that is currently being piloted globally.
The programmes aim to frame and align market specific actions to create impact on a broader level – taking all 49 countries where IKEA retail is present into scope. They set our global minimum sourcing criteria, while still enabling markets to go further where the possibility exists. We invite opportunities to build on this approach – partnering with suppliers, farmers, other food businesses, experts, scientists and NGOs we are aiming for an impact beyond what is possible today.
In 2018 we will publicly launch the Better Programmes as well as our transport and slaughter standard with a roadmap and key milestones.