Mexican healthy food chain Guzman y Gomez has taken the first step in its mission to change the fast food industry with the announcement that it has moved to 100 percent unprocessed, fresh, Australian free range chicken across all its taquerias nationally.
The chain is now serving Free Range Egg and Poultry Australia (FREPA) accredited poultry meat across all 74 taquerias in Australia, becoming the first fast food player in the country to roll out unprocessed Australian free range chicken at scale. To gain FREPA accreditation farmers and suppliers must uphold the highest standards of animal welfare.
Guzman y Gomez is on a mission to create real change in the industry by demonstrating that it is possible to serve good food fast without compromising on quality, taste, nutrition or animal welfare. Improving animal welfare is the first priority for the company, starting with its largest protein by sale volume — chicken.
Changes to farming systems for other major proteins are also underway with Guzman y Gomez committing to being 100 percent sow stall free by October 2016 while its beef will be 100 percent grass fed and added hormone free by 2017.
“Everyone thinks fast food is bad food and that convenience and affordability comes at a cost. But we’re out to show the world this is just not true,” said Steven Marks, co-founder and Managing Director of Guzman y Gomez (pictured above).
“We’ve spent the last 10 years nailing the speed game — serving real, fresh food at fast food pace with no microwaves, and without cutting corners. And now that we’re big enough to create real change, we are proving it is possible to do all that and still act ethically as a business.
“First step is improving animal welfare and we’re starting with our largest protein — we go through more than 80,000 Kgs of chicken each month. We’re incredibly proud to be only serving Australian FREPA accredited free range chicken in all our taquerias,” said Marks.
In a bid to challenge the industry to raise its standards, Guzman y Gomez is leading a pro free range rally today (Friday 16th September) at noon in World Square, Sydney, to push for change. A Change.org petition has been set up calling on the CEOs of fast food companies to commit to improving animal welfare by only serving free range chicken.
“Moving to free range is no gimmick. It’s something we care deeply about and a decision we’re committed to. We hope others in the industry will join us, and help raise animal welfare standards across the whole fast food category,” said Marks.