MAD MEX INTRODUCES ETHICALLY SOURCED RSPCA APPROVED CHICKEN TO NSW & ACT STORES

March 2013

Mad Mex is the first quick service restaurant in Australia to introduce RSPCA Approved* higher welfare chicken as a standard in their NSW and ACT restaurants. This is the latest initiative from BiteMark, the Mad Mex commitment to healthy and responsible choices.

Chicken is the most popular meat at Mad Mex and accounts for almost two million of their meals each year. Sourcing RSPCA Approved chicken will ensure that chicken meals at Mad Mex, which currently account for more than half of Mad Mex protein sales, meet the RSPCAs high animal welfare standards.

The RSPCA program enables Mad Mex to deliver higher welfare chicken to Australian’s who want fresh, healthy and ethically sourced food, whilst showing how making responsible supply chain decisions can result in an ethical business model.

Mad Mex Founder and Head Honcho, Clovis Young said, “The decision to introduce RSPCA Approved chicken at Mad Mex was a simple choice for us – it’s the right thing to do. 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 the RSPCA standards, we expect to serve higher welfare chicken in all stores nationally by the end of the year.

“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,” Young continued.

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

“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 to provide customers with healthier choices. This includes:

•An online nutritional calculator, providing complete transparency around Mad Mex’s nutritional information including saturated fat, calories, kilojoules, sugar, protein and carbohydrates.

•Introduction of brown rice, which has more manganese, fibre and selenium than white rice and represents 50 per cent of Mad Mex’s rice servings. That’s 10,000kg across the network per month.

•Introduction of whole wheat tortillas. Mad Mex serves 60,000 whole wheat tortillas per month. Whole wheat tortillas made with whole grains can help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, strokes and heart disease. Whole wheat tortillas replaced white tortillas at the end of last year.

•The introduction of trans-fat free rice bran oil. Mad Mex uses approximately, 1700 litres of oil every month.

Other BiteMark initiatives will focus on improving recycling and packaging solutions as well as other sustainable protein supplies.

*RSPCA Approved means that chickens are raised to the RSPCA’s high animal welfare standards. Mad Mex 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. They have more space to move around, perches to jump onto and litter to scratch around and forage in.

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