A report claims that while companies continue to invest in animal welfare, they are too slow in delivering meaningful welfare impacts on the ground.
The 10th annual Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) report reveals that of the 150 companies assessed, 134 (89%) now acknowledge farm animal welfare as a business issue (it was 71% of 68 companies evaluated in 2012), and 122 companies (81%) have formal policies on farm animal welfare (compared to 46% in 2012).
A total of 119 companies (79%) have published formal objectives and targets for animal welfare (26% in 2012).
Despite the gains, implementation of animal welfare improvements continues to lag policies and governance.
There remains a disconnect between the disclosure of management processes and the impact this has on farm animal welfare within their supply chains.
None of those evaluated in the report achieved an “A” impact rating, and only five companies – Greggs, Marks & Spencer, Noble Foods, Premier Foods, and Waitrose – achieved a “B” impact rating.
Of greater concern is that 85% of the 150 companies evaluated achieved an “E” or “F” impact rating, suggesting these companies fail to demonstrate improved welfare impacts for farm animals in their global supply chains.
Nicky Amos, executive director of the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare and managing director of Chronos Sustainability, said: “Today, around 80% of the 150 companies assessed by BBFAW have strengthened their governance of farm animal welfare through formal policy commitments, objectives and targets.”
“While this provides a strong foundation for action, companies need to demonstrate that their investments in farm animal welfare are delivering positive welfare impacts for animals on the ground,” Amos continued.