Morrisons has announced it is changing the production requirements for all its own-brand fresh chicken, reducing stocking density to 30kg per square metre from its current requirement of 34.2 kg per square metre.
Red Tractor currently requires a maximum of 38 kg per square metre.
Morrisons said the change would improve animal welfare standards and would be implemented by November 2024.
The retailer has differentiated itself from competitors in recent years by introducing the NestBorn system, where chicks are hatched in the barns where they are reared. From May 2023, more than 90% of Morrisons fresh chicken suppliers will be doing this.
Sophie Throup, Technical and Sustainability Director at Morrisons, said: “As British farming’s biggest direct supermarket customer, we care deeply about how our animals are grown and we are always looking at ways with our suppliers to improve standards. That is why by the end of the year we will have lowered our stocking density giving chickens more space as they grow. The changes we intend to make across all of our own-brand fresh chicken will allow customers to make more positive choices when it comes to the products they purchase as we continue our journey to improve welfare standards.”