What is the difference between AF Chicken, Organic Chicken and Free-range Chicken?
We currently have 3 certificate raising systems: Antibiotic Free, Organic and Free-range. The difference between these three systems is the management and nutrition, with restrictions on the breeds just for the birds used in the Free-range system.
1) AF Chicken (Antibiotic Free)
In the AF Chicken (Antibiotic Free) husbandry system, birds do not receive antibiotics, growth promoters, chemotherapy, chemical anticoccidials and ionophores, and their feed does not contain ingredients of animal origin. They are raised in closed sheds, in a density of up to 30 kg/m² and in a controlled environment.
In each farm there are farmers responsible for the maintenance of appropriate conditions of temperature, humidity, feed distribution and birds’ health. We have a field technician who conducts weekly visits, recording the productive and sanitary progress in accordance with our production standards, that in addition to several parameters, checks carefully the requirements concerning the animal welfare.
The AF chickens are certified as free of antibiotics and free of animal ingredients in feed, by the certification body World Quality Systems (WQS Certificações de Produtos Ltda.), according to the Guidelines for Production, Slaughtering and Laboratory Control for Alternative Certificate Chicken, issued by the Association of Alternative Aviculture – AVAL.
2) Korin Organic Chicken
For a product to be considered organic, it is necessary a certification ensuring that the procedures used in its production are in accordance with the basic principles of organic animal husbandry or farming under Brazilian law
For the Korin Organic Chicken, the birds receive feed with certified organic ingredients, also without ingredients of animal origin and without antibiotics. The birds’ feed is made of organic ingredients such as corn and soybean meal.
The Korin organic chicken is produced in accordance with law No. 10831 of December 23, 2003, called Law of Organics, and it is also a certified process, in this case by IBD – Biodynamic Institute. IBD is a certification body affiliated with IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements), and internationally accredited for organic production audits.
These birds are raised in semi-confined system, being inside sheds until the age of 25 days, so they can be warmed and protected from air drafts. When they reach the age of 25 days they have access to a grazing area (paddock area), being freed in the morning and gathered in the afternoon. It is important to highlight that even during the period in which they are freed, the birds have free access to feed and water, available inside the shed.
3) Korin Free Range (Caipira) Chicken
Chicken of an slow growth breeds for this purpose, created on system with access to outside areas for grazing, exercise and manifestation of behaviors inherent to its species, and fed with feed consisting of ingredients of plant origin, being forbidden the use of performance enhancers of antibiotic basis. Only breeds of slow-growth birds (over 70 days) will be accepted under that name.
The Free Range (Caipira) birds do not receive antibiotics, growth promoters, chemotherapy, chemical anticoccidial and ionophores, and its feed does not contain ingredients of animal origin.
The birds are created in closed sheds, on a density of at most 10 kg/m² until 25 days of age, and after that they have access to a grazing area (paddock area), being freed in the morning and gathered in the afternoon, with free access to feed and water available inside the shed.
Korin earned the certification of the Animal Welfare of HFAC – Humane Farm Animal Care, which is a certification protocol granted to producers who follow very strict rules regarding animal welfare. Both the raising and slaughtering processes for AF, Organic and Free Range (Caipira) poultries, and the raising of AF laying hens (egg production) are certified by HFAC (Animal Welfare) and WQS (feed is free of antibiotics and animal ingredients).
All our products meet strict quality standards, that guarantee our customers the compliance with Codes and Standards described for each production process.
The use of hormones in bird’s raising is prohibited (Decree No. 76,986, JANUARY 6th, 1976), and due being prohibited they are not used in any raising system (not in the conventional system, nor in Korin system).
Korin chicken, besides not receiving hormones, does not receive antibiotics, growth promoters, chemotherapy, chemical anticoccidial and ionophores, and its feed does not contain ingredients of animal origin.
In fact, we have two lines:
The Antibiotic free (AF) eggs: They are not organic, because the ingredients (corn and soybean) used for the production of the feed are non-organic. The Antibiotic free eggs are produced under Antibiotic Free system. The hens don’t receive any antibiotics (chemotherapy and growth promoters), anticoccidial, and their feed is free from animal ingredients. The hens have freedom to express their normal behavior such as flapping, scratching, taking sand bath, running and perching. Because they are raised free inside the shed, free of confinement in cages, they have nests to perform the posture, perches and access to paddock area. These characteristics allowed the company to obtain the certification in Animal Welfare, granted by HFAC and audited by the certifier ECOCERT BRASIL (Humane Farm Animal Care standards).
Organic Eggs: They follow the same raising system, free of antibiotics. The difference is that in addition to what has been described above, the hens consume feed only from certified organic origin, as required by the Law of Organic of Brazil (law No. 10,831 of December 23rd, 2003).
Why is the color of yolk of Korin's egg sometimes lighter?
The yolk color varies according to the amount of ingested pigmenting substances. These substances are present in corn, the main ingredient in feed provided for the hens, and also at levels that vary according to time of year. Korin does not perform the addition of these pigments in the feed, so the yolk color varies, but this does not affect the nutritional contents of the egg, which is not disqualified for consumption
The comparison between the retail’s final price of chicken raised without antibiotics with the conventional one is a complex topic, but some economic aspects need to be considered by the consumer:
The raising of chicken without antibiotics is certified by WQS (World Quality Services) as free of antibiotics and animal ingredients in its feed, according to the Guidelines for Production, Slaughtering and Laboratory Control for Alternative Certificate Chicken, issued by the Association of Alternative Aviculture – AVAL, and this generally incurs higher costs than those incurred by properties that produce chicken in the conventional system (larger economy of scale, greater productivity, less use of hand labor, no obligation of environmental conservation/social responsibility and no annual cost of certification);
Poultry producers are small and medium owners, integrated to Korin, taking care of small lots (10,000 to 30,000 birds) and the slaughterhouse slaughters 24,000 chickens daily. This is an overview of the care given by our collaborators to the products we manufacture, important in this differentiated raising system.
The feed of the chicken raised without antibiotics is made based on selected corn and soybean, without use of therapeutic antibiotics and antibiotics as performance enhancers.
Due to Raising System without the use of antibiotics, the average slaughter age of Korin chicken is 46 days, longer than the slaughter age of conventional chicken.
Korin usually does not make direct sales to consumers (except in its chain stores), but sells chicken to retailers and stores that have their pricing policy for differentiated products. And certainly Korin has no influence on the price margin applied to its products by the chains and stores;
Aware of consumer’s expectations, Korin has been developing initiatives to make its products more accessible, to the extent that constantly seeks to improve its processes and sustainable growth. A more efficient and productive company, aligned with the ideals of Mokichi Okada, will be able to offer more options.
Let’s clarify that all Korin’s packaging have declaration of its quality differentials, so that the consumer recognizes these product’s intrinsic attributes.