Global brands are failing animals

Over a third of benchmarked food brands provide little or no information on their approach to farm animal welfare, according to a report. A further 1 in 5 trusted global food companies has no farm animal welfare policy at all.

The findings are from the 2020 Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) report. Launched today by World Animal Protection and Compassion in World Farming, it ranks 150 global food companies on farm animal welfare standards across six tiers.

59 of the 150 companies are ranked in the lowest tiers (Tiers 5 and 6). The average score for companies overall is just 35%, showing there is much room for improvement.

Some of the lowest scoring companies are Mars, Subway, and Starbucks, all of whom have been assessed annually since BBFAW started in 2012. The report finds they lag significantly behind their peers on farm animal welfare.

There is some encouraging news – 23 companies have moved up at least one tier. Woolworths Group has significantly improved its position from Tier 3 to Tier 2. The group was ranked Tier 4 in 2016. Coles Group however remains at Tier 3, and Aldi Süd is now also sitting at Tier 3 after moving down from Tier 2 in 2019.

The most improved companies since the BBFAW was launched in 2012 include Nestlé, Barilla and Waitrose. Each has moved up three tiers since they were first assessed.

World Animal Protection CEO Steve McIvor says consumer interest in animal welfare shows why companies should be willing to change and improve year on year.

“Animal cruelty is becoming more and more important for consumers – producers, supermarkets and restaurants would be foolish to ignore it,” he says.

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