Premier Foods has been acknowledged for making a significant improvement in its farm animal welfare approach in a report published last month, which reviewed the activities of nearly 100 companies around the globe.
The Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) evaluates the world’s leading food producers, retailers and service companies on their management and reporting on farm animal welfare. At the launch of the fifth BBFAW report in New York, it was announced that Premier Foods had improved its performance sufficiently to earn its place in Tier 3 of the 2016 Benchmark, having been in Tier 5 only two years before.
Mark Hughes, Procurement and Central Services Director at Premier Foods, commented: “We understand that farm animal welfare matters to our customers, and we are working hard to show our commitment to improving the welfare of animals in our operations and supply chain. In 2012, we made a commitment to only use cage-free eggs in our products, and in the past year, we published a series of 2025 goals to support our animal welfare policy. We are delighted that our efforts have been independently evaluated and acknowledged in the 2016 BBFAW Report.”
The 2016 Benchmark report reveals that companies are paying increased attention to farm animal welfare, with 73% of the 99 companies assessed now having published farm animal welfare policies in place and 65% of companies having published objectives and targets for farm animal welfare. This is a remarkable improvement on the first Benchmark report in 2012, which found that only 46% of companies had published policies and just 26% had published related objectives and targets. Notwithstanding this progress, the average score of 34% indicates that there is much to be done before animal welfare is given the same business attention as other corporate responsibility issues.
Reflecting on these findings, BBFAW Executive Director, Nicky Amos, said: “We congratulate the companies that have improved their approach to farm animal welfare. With 26 companies moving up at least one tier since 2015, this is a clear indication that the food industry is starting to treat farm animal welfare as an important business issue. We hope that their efforts will encourage other companies in the food industry to take animal welfare seriously.”
The BBFAW is supported by leading animal welfare organisations, Compassion in World Farming and World Animal Protection, and investment firm, Coller Capital.