European poultry firms took a number of top honours in the annual Good Farm Animal Welfare awards run by welfare pressure group Compassion in World Farming.
Despite the awards being streamlined due to Covid-19, Les Fermiers de Loue won this year’s best marketing award for their humorous and eye-catching street poster campaign. The poster cleverly linked into the 2020 Municipal elections that were taking place in France at the time. Entitled “Elections Municipoules 2020”, the campaign, which ran in Paris and Le Mans, mimicked the familiar posters of the political candidates by featuring a chicken as their candidate. The chicken’s promised was “Our only label: welfare.”
The campaign was widely publicised on TV, radio and social media and generated huge public interest as it ran during the last 8 days of the election. It successfully raised awareness of the firm’s “A” rating for animal welfare, which includes using free-range, slower growing chickens and the Method of Production labelling it applies to its products. Yves de La Fouchardiere, company general manager, said the award recognised “our desire to let people know. For us, communication is above all a collective and personal commitment to promote a good cause: animal welfare.”
Italian manufacturer Barilla was singled out for special recognition under CIWF’s Planet Friendly award banner. Since committing in 2012 to go cage-free on all shell eggs and egg ingredients, Barilla has successfully implemented cage free eggs across its entire global business, which incorporates more than 100 countries. Their current cage-free policy means that over 2 million hens are benefitting each year.
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Barilla has also reformulated part of its product range, which has led to a progressive decrease in the use of egg as an ingredient – with an 8% reduction from 2016-20, resulting in a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and over 350,000 laying hens taken out of their global supply chain. 3 new biscuit ranges across 2 brands have been launched containing either no eggs or a lower content of eggs and instead using a higher percentage of legumes, while in the United States, a whole pasta range containing 100% plant-based protein has been launched. In addition, Barilla’s commitment to reducing the company’s environmental impact has resulted in 3 of its brands offsetting their carbon emissions.
Tracey Jones, CIWF’s director of food business, said: “Whilst the transition to higher welfare production systems is imperative, growing scientific evidence calls for a significant reduction in the overall production and consumption of animal protein. Barilla’s work to actively reduce egg consumption with the resulting fall in emissions is an excellent example of how this balance can be successfully achieved and deserves to be recognised.”
Chinese producer Happy Eggs received the first Good Egg Award in China for selling only cage-free eggs on the internet. They lease the higher welfare and environmentally friendly Dutch “Rondeel” barn system – the only one in China – and have built an additional aviary barn system which is set to improve the lives of more than 240,000 hens each year. In addition, they are keen to educate the public about the benefits of higher welfare and are building a small museum and café linking welfare farming to the local tourist industry.