In a move that delighted customers and rural farmers both, jd.com has changed the online poultry market. In 2016, Jingdong created the ‘Running Chicken’ program to help impoverished farmers in Wuyi County by establishing a free-range chicken farm. Not only has the initiative created new jobs and opportunities for the rural area of the Hebei province, it has delighted consumers too.
Ethically Sourced Chickens
For decades environmentalists demanded more ethical poultry farming practices. Jd.com saw the writing on the wall. They knew their customers would love ethically sourced chickens that tasted great, helped farmers and treated poultry with dignity. So far, the results have surpassed expectations.
Top-quality chickens are raised on a 27 hectare farm. Instead of being kept in windowless cages they spend at least 50% of their time outdoors to enjoy fresh air and to mingle with other chickens. While this is wonderful for the chickens, treating them well has other benefits too.
It has been proven that ethically sourced chickens have a better nutritional profile. Jingdong is pleased to note that their chickens have less saturated fat and cholesterol and increased omega-3 fatty acids. They also outfit each chicken with a special pedometer to measure how many steps they take in their lives, with the goal of one million steps before they are processed. Customers can scan a code on their shipping container that tells them where the chicken was sourced, how it was fed, and more.
The customer response has been fantastic. Sales have doubled in the two years since the program began. Because of this, jd.com has created similar premium produce initiatives. These include the ‘Swimming Duck’ program and the ‘Flying Pigeon.’
Consumers love the taste of their meals, and it pleases them that Jingdong has helped impoverished farmers have a better life. Of course, knowing that their meal wasn’t created in a factory farm has been a hit with environmentalists.
Starting in 2012 jd.com has created over 200 malls online to help disadvantaged farmers, while also helping consumers find locally sourced products.