Compassion’s Awards celebrate continual drive for global farm animal welfare

GLOBAL - The winds of change continue to blow across the world’s most influential food companies as more and more recognise the need to take farm animal welfare seriously
calendar icon 22 June 2018
clock icon 10 minute read

Over the last couple of years, driven by consumer demand, investor considerations and market forces, animal welfare commitments are on the rise and in the pig sector that means more, higher welfare, cage-free systems for millions of pigs across the globe.

Compassion in World Farming celebrated those companies committed to change at their annual Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards, which took place on Thursday 21 June at Les Salons Hoche, Paris hosted by European journalist and broadcaster, Alex Taylor.

Alex said: "As a former vegetarian (now flexitarian!) - and having hosted many conferences on the subject, I'm convinced we are at a turning point in the general public’s attitude towards animal welfare. I'm delighted to be hosting this year's ceremony and to have the opportunity to celebrate those companies that are doing so much, in very practical ways, to advance a cause which is, above all - simply humane. I truly believe their work is invaluable."

This year there was a total of 59 awards celebrating market-leading food businesses for their higher welfare policies and practices which are estimated to positively impact the lives of over 209 million animals each year.

Compassion’s main awards (which comprise the Good Egg Awards, Good Chicken Awards, Good Dairy Awards, Good Pig Awards and Good Rabbit Awards), were accompanied this year by the prestigious Special Recognition Award and the 2018 Best Innovation Award and Best Marketing Award for the food service and manufacturing sectors.

Overall there were 14 Good Egg Awards, three Good Chicken Awards, two Good Dairy Commendations, one Good Calf Commendation, four Good Rabbit Commendations and three Good Pig Awards.

The winners of the three Good Pig Awards were all UK based businesses: Co-op UK, Ella’s Kitchen and Spoiltpig

Co-op UK received a Good Pig Award for its policy to only use 100% British outdoor-bred pigs from RSPCA Assured farms across their fresh pork, bacon, gammon, sausages and ham. This move bolsters the retailer’s animal welfare credentials and means that all pigs within its producer group and wider supply chain will be born outdoors and raised in well-ventilated, spacious straw barns in line with strict RSPCA welfare standards on farms across the UK.

Jo Whitfield, Retail CEO, Co-op, said: “Our customers and members shop with us because they know we are as passionate as they are about animal welfare, so we’re delighted to have received a Good Pig Award for our pioneering approach to our pig offering. The highest animal welfare standards should not just be the preserve of top-tier products and we want to ensure that the very best quality British pork is available at everyday affordable prices. We will be working hard with innovative and passionate British farmers who share our principles, to provide exceptional quality pork produce with a conscience.”

Leading child nutrition company, Ella’s Kitchen, which focuses on developing healthy, sustainable food for infants has previously received a Good Egg Award and a Good Chicken Award from Compassion. This year, they picked up a Good Pig Award in recognition of their policy to only source pork from organic systems.

Chris Jenkins from Ella’s Kitchen said: “At Ella’s Kitchen we are committed to working with our suppliers to continually improve and achieve consistent high animal welfare standards. We are delighted to be working with Compassion in World Farming and to have received the Good Chicken, the Good Egg and now the Good Pig Awards as recognition for our work in this field.”

Spoiltpig produces responsibly farmed, award winning bacon. They received a Good Pig Award in recognition of the welfare standards of the outdoor bred pork in their supply chain.

Ellen Streatfield, Marketing Manager at Spoiltpig enthused: “We are delighted to receive the Good Pig Award for our high welfare British dry cured bacon. Delivering high health and welfare farming methods, driving innovation and striving for excellence responsibly is at the heart of what we do. We are committed to working with a dedicated and transparent supply chain at Brydock Farms that implement’s high welfare systems and employ industry leading farming practices. All our pigs are produced in a natural environment, where herd health is key. This all adds up to the best tasting dry cured bacon from farmers we know and trust and all the pigs we use are ‘raised without’ antibiotics.”

The UK’s leading supplier of continental meats to the retail, food manufacturing and food service markets, Winterbotham Darby was awarded this year’s prestigious Special Recognition Award, which is kindly supported by the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust

Winterbotham Darby has been working with Compassion for a number of years to promote higher welfare practices in the pig sector across Europe. They have developed a unique tiered animal welfare certification scheme for their continental meat suppliers (which recently received UKAS accreditation - ISO: 17065) which is driving welfare improvements and helping to secure cage-free commitments across their European supply chain. Their huge investment and commitment has been fundamental in continuing to raise the bar for pig welfare and has already shown promising results, particularly in countries like Italy and Spain - not known for their higher welfare credentials – where their suppliers are leading the way on free-farrowing systems in their countries.

David Houghton, Technical Director at Winterbotham Darby explains how important animal welfare is to them: “There has never been a more important time for animal welfare within the food industry due to an increasing pressure and demands from the market. Animal welfare is not just significant from an animal health or ethical perspective, it plays such an important role in product quality, sustainability of farming and indeed human health. At Winterbotham Darby we recognise the importance of animal welfare and that is why it is a key strategic part of our organisation be it today or in the future.”

In recent years, Compassion has been working in partnership with the International Cooperation Committee of Animal Welfare (ICCAW) in China, developing an awards programme to recognise the higher welfare achievements of Chinese pig and poultry producers. The awards are based on criteria that equate to stars with five being the highest accolade. This year there were 17 Good Pig Production Award winners (with one five star winner) - which are set to benefit more than 423 thousand pigs every year - five Good Egg Production Award winners (of which three achieved five stars) and seven Good Chicken Production Winners, again with three achieving 5 stars. In total, this year’s Chinese Award winners are set to benefit more than 180 million farm animals every year.

This year’s China award winners are wide ranging - from farms that supply some of the leading production companies in China, including producers for Yurun and Chuying Agro Pastoral Group, to smaller, local producers that rear traditional breeds of pigs for the local market.

Heilongjiang Ama Pasture Agriculture Group Co. Ltd in China received a five star Good Pig Production Award. They are an ecological organic agriculture and animal husbandry company and have won numerous national and regional awards and honours. They rear a crossbreed pig (a traditional breed crossed with a Berkshire pig) in bedded systems and are completely stall free. They meet all the criteria as current policy and for this have been awarded a 5* award.

Dr Tracey Jones, Director of Food Business at Compassion in World Farming concludes: “There has undoubtedly been a sea-change in attitudes to farm animal welfare within the last decade - driven by consumer demand, investor considerations and market forces.

Thanks to the work of Winterbotham Darby and its suppliers, indoor free farrowing is becoming a commercial reality in European speciality cured pigmeat, and thanks to our Chinese winners, sow stalls are becoming a thing of the past and pig welfare is moving up the social agenda.
I’d like to congratulate all this year’s winners and look forward to continuing to help them fulfil their higher welfare commitments and driving meaningful change for the lives of pigs across the globe.”

Full list of winners: (full details of winners’ policies available on request)

Good Egg Award Winners
CAVAC (Manufacturer - France)
Danone (Manufacturer - Global)
Kipster (Manufacturer - Netherlands)
La Boulangère (Manufacturer - France)
LIDL (Retailer - Benelux)
LIDL (Retailer - France)
LIDL (Retailer - Italy)
Morrisons (Retailer - UK)
Nestlè SA (Manufacturer – Europe/USA)
Poulehouse (Food Service - France)
Sabbatani (Manufacturer - Italy)
Sodebo (Manufacturer - France)
Starbucks (Food Service - UK)
TGI Friday’s (Food Service - UK)

Good Chicken Award Winners
Blue Apron (Retailer – USA)
Danone ELN (Manufacturer – Europe)
Diana Food (Manufacturer – USA)

Good Dairy Commendation Winners
C’est qui le patron (LSDH) (Manufacturer – France)
Laiterie Saint Père (Manufacturer – France)

Good Calf Commendation Winner
Veau Brin d’Or (Sobeval) (Manufacturer – France)

Good Pig Award winners
Co-op (Retailer – UK)
Ella’s Kitchen (Food Service – UK)
SpoiltPig (Manufacturer – UK)

Good Rabbit Commendation Winners
Danone ELN (Manufacturer – Europe)
Eleveurs Responsables (ALPM) (Manufacturer – France)
Elior (Food Service – France)
Sodexo (Food Service – Belgium)

Best Innovation Award 2018
SELEGGT (Manufacturer – Germany)

Best Marketing Award 2018
Kipster (Manufacturer – Netherlands)

Special Recognition Award 2018 - supported by the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust
Winterbotham Darby (Manufacturer – UK)

Chinese Awards

(these are awarded according to criteria that equate to stars, five stars being the highest achievement)

Good Pig Production Award Winners (17 winners in total)
1. Heilongjiang Ama Ranch Agricultural Group Co., Ltd. (*5)
2. Henan Liqun Farming Co., Ltd. Cooperative University: Shangqiu Normal University (*4)
3. Guizhou Guidu Modern Agriculture Development Co., Ltd. (*4)
4. Chuying Agro. Pastoral Group(Tibet) Co., Ltd. (*4)
5. Liaoning Zhenxing Ecology Group Development Co., Ltd. (*4)
6. No. 3 Factory of Shandong Tuhe Food Co., Ltd. (*4)
7. Beijing Heiliu Stockbreeding Technology Co., Ltd. (*3)
8. Henan Huayang Danxi Pig Genetics Limited Company (*3)
9. Anhui Lotus Zhongzhi Xumu Technical Co., Ltd. of Qinglian Food (*3)
10. Jining Anxin Farming Co., Ltd. (*3)
11. Zaozhuang Black Pig Breeding Farm of Shandong Chunteng Food (*3)
12. Shandong Unice Food Technology Co., Ltd. (*3)
13. Inner Mongolia Dahaoheshan Agriculture & Animal Husbandry Science and Technology Co., Ltd. (*2)
14. Inner Mongolia Pengcheng Animal Husbandry Development Co. Ltd. (*2)
15. Shanxi Changrong Agriculture Technology Co., Ltd. (*2)
16. Chuzhou Wodeli Farming Co., Ltd. of Yurun Group (*2)
17. Shanghai Hengjian Agriculture & Animal Husbandry Science and Technology Co., Ltd. (*1)

Good Egg Production Award Winners (5 winners in total)
1. Luhua Chicken Ecological Free-range Base of Shandong Jinqiu Agro-Pastrol Technology Co., Ltd. (*5)
2. Chengdu Xiangnong Ecological Agriculture Development Co., Ltd. Farm (*5)
3. Wangqing Qianwang Under Forest Breeding Co.,Ltd. (*5)
4. Animal Welfare Poultry Farm of Jiangsu Hongxuan Ecological Agriculture Co., Ltd. (*4)
5. Qingtongxia No.3 Breeding Base of Ningxia Xiaoming Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Co., Ltd. (*3)

Good Chicken Production Award Winners (7 winners in total)
1. Luhua Chicken Ecological Free-range Base of Shandong Jinqiu Agro-Pastrol Technology Co., Ltd. (*5)
2. Xueshan Chicken Farms of Changzhou Tianmu Poultry Co., Ltd. of Jiangsu Lihua Animal Husbandry Co., Ltd. (*5)
3. Chengdu Xiangnong Ecological Agriculture Development Co., Ltd. Farm (*5)
4. Modern Broiler Farms of Shandong Fengxiang Co., Ltd. (*3)
5. Cargill Animal Protein (Anhui) Co., Ltd. Growout Farms (*3)
6. No.1 Broiler Farm of Dadi Yihe chicken breeding specialized cooperation of Yantai Dadi Animal Husbandry Co., Ltd. (*3)
7. Nantong Chai Tai Livestock & Poultry Co., Ltd. Farms (*3)

Ryan Johnson

Editor at The Poultry Site

Ryan worked in conservation from 2008 to 2017, during which time he operated a rainbow trout hatchery and helped to maintain public and protected green spaces in Canada for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. As editor of The Poultry Site, he now writes about challenges and opportunities in agriculture across the globe.

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