Britain scores highest in global animal welfare report

By Oscar Rousseau

- Last updated on GMT

UK food companies came out on top in the farm animal welfare report
UK food companies came out on top in the farm animal welfare report

Related tags: Farm animal welfare, Food

UK companies Noble Foods, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose are among the highest-scoring firms in the global Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) report. 

The BBFAW report, due to be made public on Tuesday 26 January, examines how the world’s 90 leading food companies manage and report their farm animal welfare standards and targets. Noble Foods, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and The Co-operative Group – all from the UK – ranked highest alongside Coop Corporation, from Switzerland.

Now in its fourth year, the BBFAW report said global progress was being made to communicate animal welfare standards. Around 69% of companies have published farm animal welfare policies between 2014-2015, according to the report. In 2012, this figure stood at just 46%, demonstrating the rise in importance companies appear to place on animal welfare standards. 
Animal welfare ‘critical’

Companies by country

USA – 23
UK – 19
France – 8
Germany – 8
Italy – 6
Netherlands – 4
Switzerland – 4
Brazil – 3
Australia – 2
Denmark – 2
Norway – 2
Sweden – 2
Spain – 2
Canada – 2
Belgium – 1
New Zealand – 1
China – 1

Leading food companies are not only acknowledging farm animal welfare as a critical business issue, but also reporting and improving upon it year-on-year,​” said Compassion in World Farming’s chief executive Philip Lymbery.

This vital tool is providing an objective movement towards a more honest and compassionate food industry, and we are delighted to be at the forefront of it… The Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare has proved again this year what a powerful driver for change it is.​”

McDonald’s, Unilever, Cranswick and Marfrig are among the 90 companies included in the assessment of welfare standards in farm animals. The report represented companies in three business sectors: food retailers and wholesalers, restaurants and bars, and food producers, manufacturers and processors.

Around 54% of global food companies have published targets on farm animal welfare, according to the BBFAW.

The results show that it is realistic for companies across the world and in all sub-sectors – retailers, wholesalers, restaurants, bars and producers – to aspire to and achieve high scores in the Benchmark and to recognise the responsibility they hold for the welfare of animals in their supply chains,​” said BBFAW executive director Nicky Amos.

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