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Farm animal welfare remains 'immature business issue'

While some top food retailers are making progress on farm animal welfare, the issue remains immature according to a new benchmarking report, with half of the 80 companies assessed appearing in the bottom two tiers (Tiers 5 and 6)

Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and Coop Group (Switzerland) have been given top marks in a global annual farm animal welfare Business Benchmark report, with Burger King, Mars and Müller among 21 companies languishing at the bottom of the league table.

Now in its third year, the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) provides an annual review of how the world’s leading food companies are managing and reporting their farm animal welfare practices. 

The report, which is compiled in collaboration with leading farm animal welfare organisations, Compassion in World Farming and World Animal Protection, and with support from Coller Capital, reveals an encouraging 45 per cent (29) of the 65 companies assessed since the first report in 2012 have moved up at least one tier.

Marks & Spencer and Coop Group (Switzerland) retain their Tier 1 position for the second year running, joined by Waitrose which climbs two places from Tier 3. In Tier 2 for the second year running are The Co-operative Food (UK), J Sainsbury, Noble Foods and Unilever, with Cranswick (up two places) and McDonald’s and Migros (both up one place).

Retaining their Tier 3 ranking are Arla Foods, FrieslandCampina, Morrisons, Nestlé, Tyson Foods and VION. They are joined by Tesco, Subway, Ahold (Koninklijke) and Group Danone who have all moved up one place and Wendy’s, General Mills, JBS who have been included in the survey for the first time. 

Mike Baker, chief executive at World Animal Protection said: “Consumers increasingly care about where their food comes from and are demanding a better life for farm animals. While it is encouraging to see a growing number of companies in this year’s Benchmark with stated commitments to animal welfare, there is clearly still much room for improvement. Companies have the power in their hands to transform the lives of billions of farm animals around the world.”

Rory Sullivan, expert advisor to the BBFAW added: “The key conclusion to be drawn from the 2014 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. We are particularly concerned that most of the companies in Tier 6 and Tier 5 do not appear to have taken action to improve their management of farm animal welfare-related risks and opportunities, nor have they signalled that they intend to do so.”

Acces the ranking in full here.



Global | Animal welfare


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