22 Jun Celebrating Farm Animal Welfare Awards
This week, here at Compassion in World Farming, we’ve been preparing to recognise and celebrate companies taking action to improve farm animal welfare. Yesterday, I was thrilled to introduce our 11th annual Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards at Les Salons Hoche, Paris, hosted by Alex Taylor, European journalist and broadcaster and attended by food business leaders from around the world.
Since 2007, Compassion’s Food Business team has been working with food companies – retailers, producers, manufacturers and food service companies – to place farm animal welfare at the forefront of their agendas. Our awards programme and collaborative partnerships with food businesses are a key part of the drive towards a more humane and sustainable food system.
It was wonderful to applaud yesterday’s winners of our Good Egg, Good Chicken, Good Dairy, Good Pig and Good Rabbit Awards. This year, we also made a number of special awards and continued our ground-breaking programme of Good Production Awards for Chinese Producers. In all, 59 awards were presented that are estimated to positively impact the lives of over 209 million animals each year.
The Dutch company, Kipster, won both a Good Egg Award and the Best Marketing Award for having developed the “world’s first carbon neutral egg”. Their innovative farm has been designed to address animal welfare as well as sustainability concerns, all whilst delivering an affordable product to consumers. Oliver Wegloop, Managing Partner at Kipster explained: “We want to show the world that animal welfare is definitely a realistic option in combination with environmental friendliness as well as financial feasibility. To this end, we developed a new system where sustainability and animal care do not compete.”
I am also inspired by the work of award winner, Winterbotham Darby, who are the UK’s leading supplier of continental meats. They have been working with Compassion for a number of years, to promote higher welfare for pigs across Europe. They have developed a unique tiered animal welfare certification scheme for their continental meat suppliers, which is really driving welfare improvements, including in Spain and Italy. David Houghton, Technical Director at Winterbotham Darby explains the importance of this work, “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.”
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. In total, this year’s Chinese Award winners are set to benefit over 180 million farm animals every year. Dr Tracey Jones, Director of Food Business at Compassion explains, “We encourage companies to invest in the best and develop systems that are not only fit for purpose to deliver a good quality of life, but are fit for the future too, by meeting the growing demand for more ethical and sustainable food.”
I was particularly inspired by the Innovation Award presented to Germany’s SELEGGT for developing a method for identifying the sex of chick embryos in the egg before the embryo develops the capacity to feel pain. Currently, some 5 billion unwanted male chicks are killed each year by the egg industry.
I’m humbled to share that, since our food business programme and awards began in 2007, the total number of animals benefiting (including awards, projects and pledges), is over 1.7 billion. This is a truly amazing impact, which fills me with great hope for the future, for animal welfare, humankind and our planet.
While Compassion will not rest until every animal has a life worth living, I am so pleased to have everyone on this journey with us and would like to thank all of this year’s winners, for all they are doing for farm animals. To find out more about the awards, please visit: https://www.compassioninfoodbusiness.com/