Mad Mex to introduce “RSPCA approved chicken” in NSW and ACT

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 12th March 2013

Australian restaurant franchise Mad Mex will introduce chicken approved by the RSPCA as a standard in their NSW and ACT restaurants.

The Company says the initiative is part of ‘BiteMark’, its ongoing “commitment to healthy and responsible choices”. The RSPCA program, it says, will enable Mad Mex franchises to “deliver higher welfare chicken to Australians who want fresh, healthy and ethically sourced food, whilst showing how making responsible supply chain decisions can result in an ethical business model”.

Chicken is the most popular meat at Mad Mex restaurants, accounting for nearly two million meals sold through the restaurants each year.

“The decision to introduce RSPCA Approved chicken at Mad Mex was a simple choice for us – it’s the right thing to do,” said Clovis Young, Mad Mex Founder.

“With fewer than two per cent of Australian chickens raised to RSPCA standards, there is not enough RSPCA chicken to roll out nationally. Mad Mex has started with NSW and ACT for now, but by working directly with farmers who are converting their production to RSPCA standards, we expect to serve higher welfare chicken in all stores nationally by the end of the year,” said Young.

“More ethically sourced chicken is part of ‘BiteMark’, our commitment to offer ‘better’ choices to our customers and staff.  We’re continuing our legacy of making healthy and responsible choices but acknowledge this is a small step. There is more that we can do it’s a matter of doing it one bite at a time,” he added.

RSPCA Approved means that chickens are raised to the RSPCA’s high animal welfare standards. This means the chickens can move about freely within sheds, which have wire mesh sides and adjustable shutters or curtains that allow fresh air and natural light to stream throughout the shed. The standards allow the birds more space to move around in, perches to jump onto and litter to scratch around and forage in.

“It’s great to see Mad Mex listening to consumers and making the decision to serve RSPCA Approved chicken as a higher welfare option,” said Heath Neil, RSPCA Australia CEO.

“This positive move will help to improve welfare standards for meat chickens across Australia,” said Neil.

Since December 2010, Mad Mex has made a number of small changes as part of their ‘BiteMark’ program, with the aim of providing customers with healthier choices. Other changes include an online nutritional calendar for the restaurants’ products; the introduction of brown rice, which the Company says has a higher nutritional content than white rice; introduction of whole wheat tortillas; introduction of rice-bran oil, which the Company says is trans-fat free.