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Farm Animal Welfare is Rising Up the Business Agenda

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Farm Animal Welfare is Rising Up the Business Agenda

Farm Animal Welfare is Rising Up the Business Agenda
December 10
10:29 2013

The second report of the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare has applauded Coop Group (Switzerland), Marks & Spencer, Arla Foods, Marfrig, Royal FrieslandCampina, Sainsbury’s, VION and Waitrose for the notable improvements they have made in their farm animal welfare related management and reporting approach over the past year.

The Benchmark report has been produced with the expertise and support of leading animal welfare organisations, Compassion in World Farming (Compassion) and the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA).

The Benchmark assessed 70 leading companies from across Europe and the USA, representing food retailers and wholesalers, restaurants and bars (including food service providers) and food producers and manufacturers. It places them in one of six tiers according to their approach to managing farm animal welfare across three pillars: Management Commitment and Policy, Governance and Policy Implementation and Leadership and Innovation.

The Report shows that over half (56%) of the companies reviewed in 2013 had published formal farm animal welfare policies (compared to 46% in 2012) and 41% (compared with just 26% in 2012) had published objectives and targets for farm animal welfare.

The Report identified a group of seven companies that have carved out a clear leadership position in reporting farm animal welfare policies:

* The Coop Group (Switzerland)

* Marks & Spencer

* The Co-operative Food (UK)

* J Sainsbury

* Marfrig

* Noble Foods

* Unilever.

Programme Director, Nicky Amos, observes: “While 71% of food companies acknowledge farm animal welfare as a business issue, almost half have yet to formalise their approach to managing the issue. This indicates that farm animal welfare is lagging behind other issues on the corporate responsibility agenda. 

Rory Sullivan, expert advisor to the Business Benchmark, comments: “A key conclusion to be drawn from the 2013 Benchmark is that farm animal welfare continues to be a systemic risk that many companies in the food industry are either not effectively managing or not properly reporting.  For example, the fact that over half of the companies covered by the Benchmark provide little or no information on their approach suggests that farm animal welfare remains a relatively immature business issue.”

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