In several new commercials, Reema encourages 1,000 people to buy locally produced chicken, in order to support animal welfare.
This causes a reaction from many people, including animal protection organization Noah.
– This is misleading marketing and fraudulent communications from Rema 1000, says Siri Martinsen, president of animal welfare organization Noah, to Nettavisen.
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Products Stange and Solvinge appear in Rema commercials. Many of its chicken products have received a yellow rating in the Dyrevernalliansen product guide.
The organization's guide and its own »Animal protection poster», has been used in recent years by a number of manufacturers and grocery chains in advertising. None of the products that Rema 1000 now advertises have received the label:
-We have assessed that there are some criteria that the Rema 1000 does not meet, but we are working on a new survey. It is too early to say whether we will change the rating of Rema 1000, says communications director and founder of Dyrevernalliansen, Live Kleveland, to Nettavisen.
Cleveland does not want to say what criteria the Rema 1000 did or did not meet.
The labeling criteria are as follows: “Dyrevernmarket certified food gives you the best safety for improved animal welfare. The evaluation of non-certified foods is based on information from the producers and therefore gives no guarantee of how the animals will perform.» Written on Animal Protection Alliance Websites.
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– The most you can get
The Rema 1000 slow-growing chicken breed is called Hubbard. They switched to this breed in 2018, after entering into a financial partnership with the Animal Protection Alliance.
Hubbard should, according to Rima 1000have a healthier physique and documented health. They also grow two weeks slower than the fast-growing Ross 308 chicken breed, which is sold elsewhere in Norway.
-If you tried to get a chicken more efficient than Ross 308, it would die because its organs collapsed. It's about as extreme reproduction as you can get, says Martinsen in Noah.
– With this starting point, it doesn't take much for Hubbard to be considered less extreme, but that doesn't mean you have a healthy bird. It still grows much faster than normal for chickens. The more extreme breed was at the same level of development as Hubbard was a few decades ago, and even then had been criticized on animal welfare grounds, she adds.
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He will not criticize
Dyrevernalliansen, previously criticized Rema Chicken 1000 for not being animal friendly.
– They have to have green smiley faces to be labeled as animal friendly, Cleveland previously told Nettavisen, before adding that the Rema 1000 was at the time better than competitors in Kiwi and Coop.
– Solvinge is much better than competitors. It was a revolution in animal welfare, because they were using a healthier breed — Hubbard chickens — instead of the Ross 308, which Coop and Norgesgruppen sold, she said at the time.
According to Cleveland, the criticism was in relation to an outdated assessment, which Dyrevernalliansen has now made changes to. She doesn't want to criticize the new Rema 1000 commercials.
– I don't see any reason to come out and criticize Rema 1000 now because they brand themselves on animal welfare. She explains that they may not quite achieve the goal, but they put in a great effort.
Cleveland points out that many of the brands that got the green light in its updated product guide lack Dyrevernmarket certification.
– You don't have to have Dyrevernmarket to get the green light in the food guide, but you clearly lack the security that such certification provides through monitoring, she says.
Animal welfare boosted sales
Sales figures from November 2023 showed that the Rema 1000 had a sharp rise in sales of so-called responsibly produced, slow-growing chickens. NTB wrote that in one press release.
Sales increased 18 percent in the wake of the SVT documentary “Appointment Investigation” It revealed the mismanagement of fast-growing chickens in Swedish chicken production.
The Norsk Kylling product was praised by Rema 1000's sales and marketing director, Pia Milby, following the unveiling.
– Transparency and responsible food production are two sides of the same issue, and are very important to gain the trust of consumers, she told NTB.
Milby had the following to say about animal welfare in Norwegian chicken production:
Chickens that thrive and grow in good conditions give us better quality food. Good animal care is always an important criterion when we produce and sell products. A third of chickens sold in Norway are sold by REMA 1000, so the choices we make are important for animal welfare.
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Rima 1000 answers this
Neither Rima 1000 nor Norsk Killing recognize Noah's criticism.
-We are very proud of the work of Norwegian Chicken, which produces chicken for our Stange and Solvinge products. They are world leaders in animal welfare, explains Emily Vaag, head of social responsibility and sustainability at Rema 1000, to Nettavisen.
– Saying we have good animal care is not a lie, fraud or misleading marketing. Noah's visit is most welcome, Hilde Talseth, Norsk Kylling's CEO, wrote in an email to Nettavisen.
Talseth Nettavisen reported that Norsk Kylling has made tangible improvements in animal welfare at the hatchery.
-We are the only operator in the Nordic countries that provides chickens with water, feed and light immediately after hatching. She explained that when chickens hatch at different rates, HatchCare technology helps ensure that chickens do not have to wait 2-3 days for food and water until they arrive in the coop.
Indicates the highest score
Talseth points out that Norsk Kylling, among other things, has third-party oversight and follows the animal welfare standards of the European Chicken Compliance (ECC).
according to Animal Protection Alliance The ECC is a set of minimum requirements, which have been developed by animal welfare organizations in several countries. The ECC requirements are higher than the normal Norwegian regulations, but lower than the requirements for obtaining an animal protection label. To receive the Animal Welfare Label, animals must also have a conservatory, a perch and several environmental enrichments in the poultry house.
Norsk Kylling also points to last year's top result in 'Ethical Accounting' from AnimaliaIt is a professional and development environment for Norwegian farmers in the meat and egg industry. Furthermore, they point out that the Norwegian Food Safety Authority and several international studies have pointed out the differences between fast-growing and slow-growing chickens.
– International studies show that chickens that grow more slowly are healthier, play more and practice more natural behavior than chickens that grow faster. Norsek Keeling points out that the difference in mortality rates is also significant.
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