ITALY - Compassion in World Farming has celebrated the commitment of leading food businesses to improve animal welfare standards at their Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards held at the Milan Expo on 9 June, hosted by chef, writer and broadcaster, Allegra McEvedy MBE.
The ceremony was kindly supported by the European Commission with Andrea Gavinelli (Head of Animal Welfare Unit, EC) making a speech praising the work of Compassion and the award winners.
In total, 41 awards were presented across a range of categories: the Retailer Awards, the Good Egg Award, the Good Chicken Award, the Good Dairy Award, the Good Pig Award and new for 2015 the Good Rabbit Award with almost 15 million farm animals set to benefit each year from the winners’ higher welfare policies.
Of the 41 awards, 20 of them were Good Egg Awards spanning retailers, manufacturers and food service companies from across the world, with a further four Good Chicken Awards being presented to some of the same businesses, promising to improve the lives of millions of more chickens in the food chain.
Household names such as McDonald’s, Ferrero, Pret A Manger, Whole Foods Market and KLM were amongst the recipients of a Good Egg Award for their commitment to using cage-free eggs either as whole eggs or as product ingredients (or both). Whole Foods Market was also presented with a Good Chicken Award and Qizini, the Dutch convenience product manufacturer received both Awards too.
Dr Tracey Jones, Director of Food Business at Compassion in World Farming said: “The Good Egg Award was launched in 2007 and it’s great to see that after eight years there is real momentum behind it with 20 businesses this year, committing to using only cage-free eggs, or cage-free egg products.
"These companies alone, together with those who have been presented with Good Chicken Awards, will positively impact on the lives of over 13 million poultry.
"It is a real achievement by our Food Business Managers working with, and supporting these companies, in what can be a slow, time consuming process to make changes on this scale, sometimes across global businesses.”
Both McDonald’s UK and McDonald’s Netherlands have been awarded a Good Egg Award for switching to free range egg ingredient across their quick service restaurants in those countries.
Ferrero, the world leading manufacturer of chocolate and confectionery has been awarded a Good Egg Award for being 100 per cent cage-free in its ingredients across its entire European operation. This is in line with the company’s decision to ensure the careful selection of raw materials used in its products as part of a strong corporate commitment to sustainability and social responsibility.
Sandwich chain Pret A Manger has played a leading role in the UK with regard to animal welfare, and is extending this commitment to a growing segment of their business, the US market, by sourcing only cage-free whole eggs for all of their US stores. This makes Pret the first restaurant chain in the US to receive a Good Egg Award.
Whole Foods Market is the first US-based retailer to receive a Good Egg Award for sourcing only cage-free eggs for both their whole eggs and ingredients eggs. This policy extends to their UK and Canadian stores as well, and Compassion is proud to recognise this as a global achievement.
Whole Foods Market UK was also given a Good Chicken Award this year for their decision to sell only free range chicken from birds that are slower growing, can roam outside and have more space inside the sheds, for their UK stores.
Present in 670 locations around the country, Coop Sweden is the only cooperative supermarket chain with a total of 3.4 million members owning the Coop. They are the second market leader in the retail market in Sweden and have a big focus on driving sustainability including making organic food affordable for all, and by doing so have increased sales of organic by 40 per cent in 2014. Coop Sweden is the first Swedish retailer to receive a Good Egg Award.
KLM is the core of the KLM Group and they have taken the initiative to set the standard for an integrated approach to Corporate Social Responsibility in the airline sector. They were previously awarded the Good Chicken Award in 2013 and have further improved the welfare of animals by being awarded the Good Egg Award this year for using only cage free eggs in their inflight food.
Their booklets on the food served during flights have further raised awareness of sustainable and ethical sourcing for a whole range of products, as well as increasing their transparency to customers.
Tracey again: “Every year I am so impressed by the commitment and drive of our Award winners to make genuine improvements to the lives of millions of farm animals.
"However, it also serves to remind me that there is still a huge amount of work to be done before a true market shift towards higher welfare food takes place.
"I’m confident the higher welfare message is spreading globally as more and more businesses realise that there is not just an ethical imperative to address farm animal welfare but a commercial one too.”
ThePoultrySite News Desk