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Weekly Overview: Global Food Firms Take Action on Animal Welfare

11 September 2014

GLOBAL - No longer are the ethical aspects of food production receiving just a small mention hidden at the end of a company's sustainability report.

Major meat and food processing companies around the world have started to take action on animal welfare issues.

Two leading international food processors – Nestlé and Unilever – have laid out welfare codes of practice for their supply chain.

For Nestlé, the guidelines were drawn up based on the 'Five Freedoms', while Unilever has moved to end the culling of day-old male chicks by its egg supply chain.

These commitments to improving animal welfare indicate not only that global multinationals are starting to appreciate the connection between animal welfare, health and food quality but they are also now taking action to meet their customers' demands.

Both companies in drawing up their welfare guidelines have drawn on the expertise from several animal welfare groups – once considered to be the bane of the meat processor.

Global food processing giant, Heinz, has also announced it is to strengthen animal welfare practices in its supply chain.

The new policies, part of the company’s sustainable procurement policy, sees Heinz working with suppliers worldwide to reduce the use of battery cages for laying hens.

In Australia, Canberra has become the first jurisdiction in the country where Woolworths will no longer sell battery eggs.

Well over 100 delegates were present to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Poultry Science Symposium in the UK city of Chester this week. The conference examined all aspects of the sustainability of the European poultry meat and egg industries.

Jackie Linden

Jackie Linden

Top image via Shutterstock





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