UK businesses have again been recognised as global leaders in the annual Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW). BBFAW analysed 150 global food companies, ranking them on animal welfare measures including policy commitment, performance and disclosure.
Noble Foods, the UK’s largest supplier of free-range eggs, including the Happy Eggs Company, was joined by Cranswick, Marks and Spencer, Waitrose and 2 Swiss supermarket chains Coop Group and Migros in being awarded tier 1 status for animal welfare best practice.
The report, the 8th produced, found that 60% of the world’s leading food companies had formal farm animal welfare policies and appropriate management processors for ensuring they are effectively deployed internally and throughout their supply chains. It said consumer interest in farm animal welfare, coupled with positive momentum inside a majority of the world’s most influential food companies as key accelerators of year on year change.
Brain cells indicate hen welfare
Jean-Paul Michalski, company farms director at Noble Foods, agreed : “We are extremely proud to have retained our tier 1 position in the BBFAW’s annual report. Since its inception in 2012, the Benchmark has influenced real change in the industry. It is vital for animal welfare management to be reported on and at Noble Foods we welcome this. “As a result, it’s important for us to led by example – we place a significant amount of focus on animal welfare and the Happy Eggs Company is the UK’s leading welfare brand. Consumer demands are changing and people are more interested than ever in where their food comes from and how animals are treated within the supply chain. It’s crucial that companies aren’t left behind and that clear, transparent reporting becomes the norm as the BBFAW continues its mission.”
Higher welfare raised birds hitting retail shelves in Europe
Cranswick, a major pork and poultry processor, revealed it had improved its score compared with last year, consolidating its position in tier 1. The company said it had scored maximum marks in its management commitment and policy and innovation and leadership sectors. “We are proud of our strong commitment to animal welfare across our own operations and throughout our supply chain in the UK and globally. The BBFAW Tier 1 ranking is a major endorsement of our Second Nature strategy and underpins the Groups ongoing commitment to full transparency,” it said in a statement
Companies that fail to take responsibility for ensuring the welfare of animals farmed for food can expect heightened scrutiny from their business customers and partners, from investors, and from consumers.” – Nicky Amos, BBFAW executive director.
However, the BBFAW report warned that progress was still too slow with 40% of the 150 companies still appearing in the bottom tiers, providing little or no information about how they were managing the risk and opportunities associated with farm animal welfare. Nicky Amos, BBFAW executive director, said there was a great deal more to do if farm animal welfare was to become institutionalised across the global food industry. “Companies that fail to take responsibility for ensuring the welfare of animals farmed for food can expect heightened scrutiny from their business customers and partners, from investors, and from consumers,” she added.
Other poultry companies/processors/retailers were ranked in the following tiers:
Tier 2 (farm animal welfare integral to business strategy)
Tier 3 (farm animal welfare established but work to be done)
Tier 4 (Making progress on implementation)
Tier 5 (On the business agenda but limited evidence of implementation)
Tier 6 (no evidence welfare is on the business agenda)