KAMPALA, Uganda: Animal Welfare is not a priority for some of the world’s largest food and restaurant brands, reveals a new report released at Hotel Africana, Kampala by World Animal Protection. The shocking report shows that farm animal welfare isn’t even on the agenda for some of the well-known and trusted food companies although some leading household brands are working hard to improve animal welfare in their supply chains.
Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) is the leading global measure on farm animal welfare backed by World Animal Protection and Compassion in World Farming. The seventh BBFAW report launched this week ranks 150 global food companies on farm animal welfare standards into six tiers with tier 1 being the best and tier 6 the worst.
Among brands operating locally, the British-Dutch giant Unilever that sells numerous household food brands is ranked highly in tier 2 showing farm animal welfare is an integral part of their business strategy while at the other end Subway the restaurant achieved a tier 5 ranking showing that farm animal welfare is on the business agenda but there is limited evidence of implementation. The Benchmark further shows that there is more work to be done by other household names which sit towards the bottom of the ranking. Multinational retail giant Carrefour and fast-food giant Burger King achieved only tier 4 status while fast food giants Yum Brands owners of KFC and Dominos Pizza both rank mid-table in tier 3 and have established policies but have more work to do.
Overall, company practice continues to show consistent year on year improvement since the Benchmark was launched in 2012:
The report indicates that 53% of companies now have explicit board or senior management oversight of farm animal welfare, while 71% have published formal improvement objectives for farm animal welfare.
Out of the 55 food companies that have been continuously included in the Benchmark since 2012, 17 (31%) have moved up one tier, 20 (36%) have moved up two tiers and 8 (15%) have moved up three tiers.
These improvements are striking given the tightening of the Benchmark criteria and the increased emphasis on performance reporting and impact over this time.
However, while just over half of the 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 and only one in five companies reports on live animal transport times.
Dr. Victor Yamo, the Campaign Manager for Animals in Farming at World Animal Protection Africa office said: “If you care about animals then you really should think twice about handing your money over to some of these retailers and restaurants. Giants like Burger King and Carrefour must take animal welfare much more seriously”.
Dr. Yamo told theCooperator: “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 they increasingly care about the welfare of animals when they are deciding where to shop and eat.”
“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 Uganda.” He urged cooperatives dealing in poultry and piggery to ensure that they follow strict animal welfare if they are to meet the new standards for supplying international food chains and global supermarkets.
“We hope to see these food companies responding to consumer demands by working together and in collaboration with other key stakeholders like government to improve standards for farm animal welfare locally.”
The Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) is the globally recognised investor framework for assessing the quality of companies’ practices, processes and performance on farm animal welfare. The Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare, founded in 2012, is supported by its founding partners the leading animal welfare organisations, Compassion in World Farming and World Animal Protection.
It provides an annual, independent assessment of farm animal welfare management and performance in global food companies.