Giant food companies at fault when it comes to farm animal welfare – Reports says

Make animal welfare a priority within your value chains, was the message given to companies dealing with the world’s largest food and restaurant brands, during the launch of the 7th annual Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) report, at the Sarova Stanley Hotel in Nairobi recently.

The report reveals that animal welfare is not a priority for some of the world’s largest food and restaurant brands. It ranks 150 global food companies on farm animal welfare standards into six tiers, with tier 1 being the best and tier 6 the worst.

British-Dutch giant, Unilever, ranked highly in tier 2, while Subway restaurant achieved a tier 5 ranking. Multinational retail giant, Carrefour and fast-food giant, Burger king, both achieved a tier 4 ranking, while fast-food giants Yum Brands, owners of KFC and Dominos Pizza, were ranked mid-table in tier 3.

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“Food producers, supermarkets and restaurant chains can no longer afford to ignore animal welfare, as consumers now have more information at their fingertips and are showing that they increasingly care about the welfare of animals when they are deciding where to shop and eat,” said Dr Victor Yamo, the Campaign Manager – Animals in Farming at World Animal Protection Africa office said.

The benchmark, which is the leading global measure on farm animal welfare backed by World Animal Protection and Compassion in World Farming, provides food companies with a clear set of expectations on farm animal welfare management practices and standards, to enable them to benchmark themselves against their industry peers.

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“Our aim with this report is to encourage better disclosure of companies’ farm animal welfare standards, especially by both international and local food companies operating in East Africa” he added.

“We hope to see these food companies responding to consumer demands by working together and in collaboration with other key stakeholders like the government, to improve standards for farm animal welfare locally,” he continued.

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Overall, the report shows that company practice has continued to improve consistently, year-on-year, since the benchmark was launched in 2012. According to the report, 53 percent of companies now have an explicit board or senior management oversight on farm animal welfare, while 71 percent have published formal improvement objectives for farm animal welfare. Of the 55 food companies that have been continuously included in the benchmark since 2012, 17 (31 percent) have moved up one tier, 20 (36 percent) have moved up two tiers and 8 (15 percent) have moved up three tiers.

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