Poultry processor Faccenda defends welfare record in face of vegan complaints

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save

Faccenda PETA video

Faccenda Foods refuted claims its chickens were forced to live in “filthy, windowless, crowded sheds”

Faccenda Foods has defended its animal welfare record after vegan campaign group PETA complained to the Advertising Standards Authority over what it claimed were “misleading” welfare promises on its website.

PETA challenged Faccenda’s claims of high animal welfare in its supply chain, and accused the processor of making misleading statements and exaggerations in outlining its responsibilities and welfare commitments.

A video, filmed in March 2016 and supplied by PETA to the ASA in support of its claims earlier this week, showed dead chickens littering barn floors at Buckinghamshire Faccenda supplier Stewkley Farm. It also filmed birds with bald patches, which PETA attributed to “ammonia burns from the build-up of excrement and stress from the extreme crowding”.

But in response, Faccenda offered a robust defence of it standards, and claimed the birds were ‘shedding the characteristic yellow down of chicks and growing white feathers in their place’, while also highlighting the absence of feathers on the floor as proof.

The main focus of the PETA complaint centred around its assertion the video contradicted Faccenda’s commitment that “good welfare is paramount and that means birds that are healthy and comfortable”.

Read more: Faccenda and Cargill unveil Avara Foods joint venture

Other statements by the supplier it took opposition to included: “We have a zero tolerance attitude toward anything that jeopardises the health and wellbeing of the animals in our care” and “Our birds might not be able to talk but they are still the ones who tell us we’re getting it right”. 

PETA further claimed that the animals were forced to live in “filthy, windowless, crowded sheds”, which were dismissed as false by Faccenda on the grounds its barns had double-glazed windows. It also refuted reports its birds were injured and crippled.

The animal rights organisation also reported Stewkley Farm, which holds Red Tractor Assured status, to the RSPCA over its alleged breaches.

“All of our farms operate to standards above EU and UK legislation. They are independently audited and visited on a regular basis by an external vet to monitor bird health and welfare,” said a Faccenda spokesman.

Despite this, the poultry giant, which in January launched the Avara joint venture with Cargill, said it had implemented numerous measures since the video was filmed. The natural evolution of the business had seen personnel changes and the installation of feed pans and renewable heat sources, the spokesman added.

Faccenda also challenged PETA’s portrayal of its slaughter process, which described chickens strung up by their feet, before having their throats slit. In fact, Faccenda abattoirs use controlled atmosphere killing, it said.

Faccenda added: “We place high expectations on our people when it comes to looking after the birds in their care. If they fail to meet our standards then they will not manage one of our farms.”

Have your say

Sign up to a Free 30 day Gold Membership Trial

  • Claim your free trial >>
  • You will be able to:

    - Comment on your industry
    - Read the latest category information
    - Find out more on consumer behaviours to technological advances

    You must sign in to make a comment

    • Print
    • Share
    • Comment
    • Save



    CLICK HERE to search for the products, services and companies you need in the definitive guide to the UK food and drink industry.

    Grocer jobs Experts in FMCG

    Essity Grocery Controller (Senior Sales Manager)

    Grocery Controller (Senior Sales Manager) - Essity

    excellent salary +car, bonus, PMI, pension
    Search jobs

    Need more than 5 subscriptions? Make your life easier with a Corporate Account. Find out more.



    Yes!I want to read more     CLAIM FREE TRIAL NOW
    Sign up to a 30 day free trial