Consumers are powerful. Recently, American consumers have been exercising that power in their demands for better practices in the food system. A major area of concern is the pervasive use of antibiotics on healthy animals in our factory farm system. As consumers learn more about the negative fallout from this practice (including the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria), they have begun to speak up and demand meat free from antibiotics. And industry is answering.
Last week, Chik-fil-A announced that it will phase out the use of chickens raised with antibiotics within five years. In a year, all of Perdue’s chicken hatcheries will be free of antibiotics. This pivot in practices by two powerhouses in the world of poultry show us what consumers can accomplish when they make their preferences known; businesses seeking their dollars will shape up.