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Coles Brand fresh chicken now 100% RSPCA Approved

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In another Australian food first Coles today became the only Australian national supermarket to have 100% of its fresh chicken RSPCA Approved, providing better tasting chicken for its customers and better welfare conditions for millions of chickens.

January 2014

  • Customers tell Coles: chicken that is raised better, tastes better
  • Coles fresh chicken is still 100% Australian grown
  • Curtis Stone puts ‘better tasting’ chicken on the menu in new ad campaign

In another Australian food first Coles today became the only Australian national supermarket to have 100% of its fresh chicken RSPCA Approved, providing better tasting chicken for its customers and better welfare conditions for millions of chickens.

Customers have told Coles that they care about how and where their food is produced and in a blind taste test for Coles* confirmed that the higher welfare Coles RSPCA Approved chicken tastes better than conventionally raised Coles chicken.

With chicken on the menu in over 95% of Australian households and eaten between two and four times a week by almost 80% of customers, the move is good news for chicken meat lovers. It’s also good news for Australian chicken farmers as almost a third of customers said they would buy even more chicken if there were better welfare options.

Coles Chief Operating Officer, John Durkan, said the move to RSPCA Approved chicken was the latest in a series of quality improvements that come at no added cost to customers: “Coles has listened carefully to what customers are telling us about animal welfare and the quality of the food they feed their families. We’ve taken this feedback to our farmers and growers and worked with them to deliver a better product without adding to the cost of the weekly shop.

“We started with no added hormones beef nearly 3 years ago and then followed with cage-free Coles Brand eggs; sow stall-free fresh pork and sustainable sea food. And now we have gone further and made all our Coles brand fresh chicken – including bbq chickens from the deli – RSPCA Approved, again at no extra cost to customers."

 Aussie chef and Coles ambassador, Curtis Stone has been instrumental in leading the charge for Australian families to be able to buy better quality Australian food: “Whether you are growing fruit and vegies or producing pork and chicken, the fact is the more care you take in growing the plant or raising the animal the better tasting product you’re going to get on your plate. Australian farmers already produce some of the best food in the world and I’m delighted that they are once again leading the way in helping Australian families serve up better quality, better tasting food.

“Working with Coles to help Australia grow is important to me as an Australian and as a chef and I’m really proud to be a part of the work we are doing to support Aussie farmers and feed Aussie families.”

A new nationwide TV advertising campaign featuring Curtis Stone launches today.

Heather Neil, Chief Executive of RSPCA Australia said: “The RSPCA is proud to be working with Coles and its suppliers to make the switch to sourcing only RSPCA Approved chicken under its own brand of fresh chicken. The lives of millions of meat chickens will be improved.

“It’s an exciting time for Australian consumers, who over the years have been demanding more and more high welfare food in a growing trend which is directly benefiting the welfare of farm animals.”

Coles has been selling RSPCA Approved chicken breasts, wings, drumsticks, thigh fillets and whole chickens since 2011. The pre-packed range initially went on sale in Victorian stores only but was quickly introduced to other States as the products became more popular with customers. From today all Coles brand fresh chicken including loose portions from the deli and bbq chickens will be RSPCA Approved.

Coles RSPCA Approved chickens are raised in barns farmed to the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme Standards which allow birds to freely exhibit natural behaviours such as perching, scratching and foraging. RSPCA assessors visit these farms at least four times in the first 12 months and twice a year in following years to ensure the RSPCA's higher welfare standards are maintained.

Coles will source RSPCA Approved fresh chicken from 170 farms across Australia, working with suppliers such as Hazeldenes, Cordina Farms, Steggles, Nichols Poultry and Golden Cockerel.

Further information on Coles responsible sourcing and sustainability can be found at: http://www.coles.com.au/helping-australia-grow

*Taste test involved 428 consumers and was conducted by Colmar Brunton market research agency in November 2013.

For further information, images or interviews please contact the Coles Media Relations team on 03 9829 4008/5276/4898.

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