Under the scheme for its Kariniemen poultry line, chicken eggs will be brought to farms shortly before they hatch. Crates of eggs are placed on the heated floor of the coops and, when the chicks hatch, they do not need to be quickly transported to a new home.
Eliminating the need to move newly-born chicks from one facility to another makes a step-change improvement for animal welfare in a country that already has industry-leading standards for livestock care.
Products to hit shelves in spring
“We believe in giving our chicks the best possible start in life,” said Pia Nybäck, vice-president of animal sourcing and primary production at HKScan.
“The new concept further improves their welfare and disease resistance, providing the best possible conditions for their balanced growth. Some of our contract farmers have been directly involved in developing the concept, and we will be initiating collaboration on selected Kariniemen farms.”
Consumers will be able to buy the first Kariniemen poultry products that go through the new scheme in the spring of 2018.
HKScan claimed the new hatching concept was among the first in the world and was being pioneered in Finland on selection contract farms.
Heli Arantola, head of strategy at HKScan, added: “The new hatching concept is a tangible example of our renewed Farm-to-Fork strategy, through which we aim to establish food chain leadership. It combines three goals in one: consumer focus, cost efficiency and responsibility. We are dedicated to the humane treatment of animals and we are working hard to continually improve the health and welfare of our livestock throughout all stages of the production chain.”