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Meat, poultry and eggs

Our meat, poultry and eggs are purchased from suppliers worldwide. We buy processed meat in the form of cooked and dehydrated products, oils and powders, as well as unprocessed cooked, frozen and fresh meat for use in a range of our food and pet food products.

Sourcing meat, poultry and eggs responsibly

We assess practices at farm level using the Nestlé Responsible Sourcing Assessment protocol, developed in conjunction with the nonprofit organization World Animal Protection.

Our category-specific requirements (pdf, 2Mb) cover challenges such as breeding, feeding, housing, husbandry, health, transport and slaughtering. Since the beginning of our program, we have conducted over 1336 farm assessments in 21 countries.

Our assessments identify areas for improvement, such as chemical storage and animal welfare. We are working with farmers to gradually implement remedial actions at farm level.

Together with our partners, we will continue to further improve farm animal welfare by ensuring compliance with our Responsible Sourcing Standard requirements to ensure the highest possible standards.

In addition, to drive industry-wide transparency, we are making available the list of our direct suppliers Tier 1 (pdf, 600Kb) and the list of their slaughterhouses (for meat and poultry)?and breaking locations for eggs (pdf, 600Kb), along with the country of origin.

Our main sources of meat, poultry and eggs

Argentina, Brazil, China, Indonesia, Mexico, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam.

Our progress

CSV - Meat - responsibly sourced


of our total meat, poultry and eggs purchased in 2018 was responsibly sourced

CSV - Meat - traceable


of our total meat, poultry and eggs purchased in 2018 was traceable to its source

CSV - Meat - cage free hens


of eggs in all of our food products globally will be from cage-free hens by 2025

Supply chain challenges and solutions


Award-winning animal welfare

Our work to improve animal welfare was recognized externally in 2017, as our Herta brand in France received a Good Egg Award at the Compassion in World Farming’s Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards.

We were also pleased to be awarded a Good Egg Award in 2018 by Compassion in World Farming for our cage-free pledge in Europe.

Animal welfare – poultry

In 2017 and 2018, we made three major poultry welfare pledges:

  • We set a goal to purchase only cage-free eggs for all our food products globally by 2025, and by 2020 in Europe and the US.
  • We committed to higher welfare standards for broiler chickens (chickens raised for meat, rather than egg, production) in the US by 2024, including slower growth rates, better leg health and improved environments in line with Global Animal Partnership standards.
  • In June 2018, we committed to higher welfare standards for broiler chickens in Europe by 2026, in line with the requirements of the European Broiler Ask/Better Chicken Commitment.

Our broiler pledge in Europe

We will ensure that chicken welfare standards for poultry used in all of our food products in Europe meet the criteria expectations set out in the European Broiler Ask/Better Chicken Commitment. By 2026, we will move to one standard, based on a phased introduction. Our announcement provides details of which brands we will focus on.

The European Broiler Ask/Better Chicken Commitment requires that 100% of the chicken used in Nestlé food products must (by 2026):

  • Comply with all EU animal welfare laws and regulations, regardless of the country of production.
  • Implement a maximum stocking density of 30kg/m2 or less. Thinning is discouraged and if practiced must be limited to one thin per flock.
  • Adopt breeds that demonstrate higher welfare outcomes: including the following breeds, Hubbard JA757, 787, 957 or 987, Rambler Ranger, Ranger Classic and Ranger Gold, or others that meet the criteria of the RSPCA Broiler Breed Welfare Assessment Protocol.
  • Meet improved environmental standards including:

    • At least 50 lux of light, including natural light.
    • At least two meters of usable perch space, and two pecking substrates, per 1?000 birds.
    • On air quality, at least the requirements of Annex 2.3 of the EU broiler directive, regardless of stocking density.
    • No cages or multitier systems.
  • Adopt controlled atmospheric stunning using inert gas or multiphase systems, or effective electrical stunning without live inversion.
  • Demonstrate compliance with the above standards via third-party auditing and annual public reporting on progress towards this commitment.

Our pledge applies to the whole of Nestlé’s Europe, Middle East and North Africa Zone – including all countries subject to EU legislation.

Nestlé’s announcement to take their cage-free egg commitment worldwide, and to improve the welfare of broiler chickens in Europe by signing up to the 2026 Better Chicken Commitment highlights the company’s ambition for continuous improvement for farm animal welfare.
Their commitments have the potential to improve the lives of millions of farm animals in their supply chain and we will continue to work with Nestlé to ensure the effective implementation of these commitments.
Tracey Jones, Director of Food Business at Compassion in World Farming

Animal welfare – beyond poultry

Beyond poultry, we are looking to identify and assess opportunities for welfare improvements for other animals, and will be developing new initiatives and solutions for other aspects of our meat, poultry and egg supply chain. Animal welfare matters to us and to our consumers, who expect affordable, high-quality foods without compromising on the wellbeing of animals.

Assessing suppliers


Partnering to make change

Nestlé participated in a three-year partnership with World Animal Protection from 2014 to 2017. This program of work included strategic advice on driving improvements in welfare standards and joint visits to farms in Nestlé’s supply chain to identify gaps and potential solutions. Our announcements on cage-free eggs and broiler welfare build on the work carried out through this partnership, and we look forward to exploring further potential opportunities for collaboration with World Animal Protection in the future.

In June 2018, Nestlé entered into a global partnership with Compassion in World Farming. This will help define priorities to improve farm animal welfare further in the Nestlé supply chain, including sharing best practices and offering training for Nestlé staff.

In October 2018, Nestlé became one of the founding members of the Global Coalition for Animal Welfare (GCAW). Food service companies and food manufacturers are working together through the GCAW to advance animal welfare standards globally – including improving conditions for intensively reared livestock.

Setting high standards globally

We recognize and share stakeholders’ concerns about the welfare of animals raised for food and the need to ensure sustainable animal production systems. Through our Nestlé Responsible Sourcing Standard, we are helping to bring about positive change.

Our mandatory Nestlé Responsible Sourcing Standard (pdf, 2Mb) requires our suppliers of animal-derived ingredients to meet all applicable laws and regulations on animal welfare, and communicate this to their suppliers and farmers. The Nestlé Commitment on Farm Animal Welfare (pdf, 1Mb) sets out further ways to improve the health, care and welfare of the farm animals in our supply chain.

We are committed to eliminating from our global supply chain specific practices that are not consistent with the internationally accepted Five Freedoms:

  • Freedom from hunger, thirst and malnutrition.
  • Freedom from fear and distress.
  • Freedom from physical and thermal discomfort.
  • Freedom from pain, injury and disease.
  • Freedom to express normal patterns of behavior.

Among the specific practices we have committed to eliminating are:

  • Cattle: dehorning, tail docking, disbudding and castration without anesthetic and analgesia, and veal crates.
  • Pigs: gestation crates, tail docking and surgical castration.
  • Poultry and eggs: cage systems, particularly barren cages, and rapid-growth practices with respect to the effects on animal health and welfare.
  • Animal production systems in general: our first focus is the responsible use of antibiotics in line with the World Organisation for Animal Health’s (OIE) guidance, and the phasing out of growth promoters.

We are currently prioritizing practices to be addressed and assessing how best to tackle them. We will also support the development and implementation of science-based international standards and guidelines by the OIE. Our employees receive training on animal welfare based on a program developed in 2017 with the nonprofit organization Compassion in World Farming.

Contributing to global benchmarks

In recent years, we have contributed to the stakeholder consultation process on the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW), a global measure of animal welfare standards in food companies supported by the nonprofit organizations World Animal Protection and Compassion in World Farming. In the 2017 report (published in February 2018), Nestlé remained in the ‘Tier 3: Established but work to be done’ ranking.

Developing standards for farm animal welfare management

We participate in an international, multistakeholder working group that has developed an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) technical specification (TS) ISO/TS 34700:2016 on Animal Welfare Management. The TS aims to improve the living conditions of animals bred and kept for food production, and provide a management tool for implementing the World Organisation for Animal Health’s (OIE) animal welfare principles. The TS is science based, nonprescriptive and outcome based. It will facilitate the integration of animal welfare principles in business-to-business relations between suppliers and customers, and provide a route to demonstrate conformance through additional assurance by an external party. We are working to implement TS in our supply chain and engage with the OIE to develop further species-specific guidance.


More information

Nestlé Farm Animal Welfare Q&A (pdf, 191 Kb)

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