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IKEA Food Better Chicken

The IKEA Food Better Programmes frame IKEA Food’s global vision for sustainable agriculture. They consist of a set of sourcing criteria for all the major species in our supply chain with a focus on farmed animal welfare, antibiotics use and our environmental footprint at the farm level. They also consist of clear regional roadmaps for implementation. Our ambition is that all sourcing of eggs, chicken, pork, beef, dairy, and salmon will be compliant with the Better Programmes by 2025.

As a first step, we are focusing on Better Chicken (see below), which identifies our minimum sourcing criteria for all broiler chicken products in our supply chain, globally. All chicken products sourced for IKEA Food will be consistent with all criteria of the IKEA Food Better Chicken Programme by 2025. The regional roadmap for chicken contains key milestones in 2020 and 2025. Better Chicken will be made public in January 2018 and we will begin piloting the criteria with our suppliers to work through practical considerations. In addition to farm level criteria, we also include a provision around transport and slaughter which we will implement via the IKEA Transport & Slaughter Guidelines.

All chicken products sourced for IKEA Food will be consistent with all criteria of the IKEA Food Better Chicken Programme by 2025.
All chicken products sourced for IKEA Food will be consistent with all criteria of the IKEA Food Better Chicken Programme by 2025.

IKEA Food Better Chicken Programme roadmap for North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific

* IKEA Food operates in additional regions, and we expect them to be compliant with the Better Programmes by 2025. However, the initial focus is on the largest regions North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific — learnings will be used as input for implementation in the remaining regions. Further analysis is required with our suppliers in Asia Pacific.

Better Chicken Requirements

Stocking density

Maximum stocking density of 30 kg/m2 in order to allow chickens to have enough space. No more than one thin per flock in regions that practice thinning.


Increased illumination and preference for natural light. In addition, the right lighting regime to have a more normal day/night light pattern over a 24 hour period. Minimum of 8 hours continuous daylight and 6 hours continuous darkness. The criteria is 50 lux in Europe, we will pilot 50 lux in North America and require 20 lux in Asia Pacific.

Flock health plan

A written plan developed in conjunction with a veterinarian to ensure the long-term health and welfare of the flock. This plan should include the collection of welfare outcomes which are essential as they are used to objectively assess the effect of our new sourcing criteria on the welfare of individual chickens. For example: lameness (difficulty walking), hock burns, and activity levels etc.


In line with the IKEA Food guidelines for the use of antibiotics, there will be no routine use of antibiotics by 2020 and a plan to phase out the highest priority antibiotics that are critically important to human health by 2025.

Environmental enrichment

To enhance the physical and social environment animals are kept in, environmental enrichment should at a minimum include perches or platforms and pecking substrates. Enrichment for broiler chickens has the potential to improve health and provide opportunities for chickens to express their important natural behaviours. Examples include straw bales, platforms, perches, and pecking objects like brassicas or hanging wooden blocks.

Environmental conditions

Improved environmental conditions including dry and friable litter, improved air quality, and a focus on thermal comfort.

Manure management plan

A written plan for the storage, handling, and use of livestock manure with a focus on the protection of soil health and water-courses.

Non-deforestation feed

Feed that does not contribute to deforestation includes palm oil and soy, this may be achieved through verification at the farm-level or through other measures taken at the corporate level. 

Natural light

Natural light which can be provided by windows, light tubes, or open-sided sheds.

Breeds with measurably improved health and behaviour outcomes

Genetic selection for fast growth and high breast yield has resulted in an imbalance between production needs and the welfare of the animal. We aim to use breeds that are slower growing, healthier and are able to effectively express important natural behaviour while still providing good production value.  

Slaughter and transport

Slaughter and transport criteria will be implemented through the IKEA Transport & Slaughter guidelines, including criteria for controlled atmosphere stunning to minimise stress from handling. 

Meet Priya Motupalli, Sustainable Sourcing Specialist and Jacqueline Macalister, Health & Sustainability Manager at IKEA Food.

Better Chicken Requirements

Our internal governance process overseeing implementation consists of a Steering Group and Working Group made up of key internal stakeholders, suppliers and welfare experts. 

To provide external assurance, we will verify compliance with our programme using third party and internal assurance methods.

Progress will be reported annually in the IKEA Health & Sustainability Report.

Our commitment to more sustainable agriculture and better animal welfare is strongly connected to the IKEA vision of creating a better everyday life for the many people.

Sharla Halvorson - Heath & Sustainability Manager IKEA Food Services AB