Launched this week, the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare report explored 150 companies’ animal welfare practices across the globe. The report reviewed all of the firms involved and graded them into five tiers, with five being the lowest and one being the highest.
The stand-out performers of the report were Cranswick, Noble Foods, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and Co-op Group (Switzerland) who all achieved tier one status.
The report outlined that UK companies achieved significantly higher overall average scores (61%) compared to other international markets, including North America (28%) and Europe excluding the UK (34%).
The results from the BBFAW report
The BBFAW said two factors contributed to Noble Foods’ tier one recognition: the business had improved its welfare impacts for laying hens and dairy cows, as well as its position for the responsible use of antimicrobial medicine.
The report also praised the likes of international meat firms, including Vion Food Group, for moving up to tier two in its report. However, companies such as BRF, JBS and Danish Crown dropped to tier three in the rankings.
BBFAW executive director Nicky Amos said company practices continue to show consistent year-on-year improvements.
“Fifty-three per cent of companies now have explicit board or senior management oversight of farm animal welfare and 71% have published formal improvement objectives for farm animal welfare,” said Amos.
“However, these encouraging findings on management processes are not matched by performance. Just over half of companies report on the proportion of animals that are free from close confinement, only one in four companies covered by the Benchmark provides any information on the proportion of animals that are stunned prior to slaughter. Additionally, only one in five companies reports on live animal transport times.”