LOOKING TO A BRIGHTER FUTURE
Dr Tracey Jones, Global Director of Food Business at Compassion in World Farming, shares the award winners and her thoughts, following the annual Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards in London.
Tracey has been the Director of Compassion’s Food Business programme since 2013, overseeing its evolution and expansion, working with the world’s leading food companies across Europe, the US and Asia-Pacific.
She is passionate about making a real, lasting difference for the welfare of animals reared for food and recognises the urgent need to rebalance our food system to reduce our reliance on animal sourced foods, using the power of big business to drive meaningful change.
Yesterday, we were thrilled to be able to hold our Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards in person once again, after two years of virtual celebrations.
We were delighted to welcome back journalist, and long-time supporter of Compassion, Lucy Siegle to host our awards, as well as Nick Jacobs, Director of IPES-Food. Nick’s keynote speech on the various approaches to balance the environmental and animal welfare impacts within a sustainable food system was truly inspiring.
When we launched the Food Business programme over 12 years ago, our mission was to raise baseline standards for farmed animals in the supply of leading companies and, to date, I’m thrilled to announce more than 2.5 billion animals are set to benefit each year.
As we move into our next strategic period and given the urgency of the climate, nature and health crisis, only a holistic approach – which protects the health and well-being of animals, people and the planet – will ensure that we create a global food system fit for future generations.
We aim therefore to work with global food companies to drive transformational change for farm animals, reduce our reliance on animal sourced foods and encourage more regenerative, nature friendly farming.
During the panel discussion at the Awards ceremony, excellently facilitated by presenter and vet James Greenwood, representatives from Compass Group, Carrefour and CCLA Investment Management Ltd, all discussed what they are doing in the future food space, and for me what was most exciting was to see how many of our award winners this year are already on the journey.
Perhaps the best example of this was Compass Group (UK & I) who were awarded the first full Planet Friendly Award, achieving a GOLD level for a 2025 commitment to reduce its animal sourced proteins by 25%.
Their Net Zero plan includes a commitment to switch to 40% plant-based proteins by 2030 (at least 25% by 2025) and 70% of their top 5 food categories will be sourced from regenerative agriculture by 2030.
They have adopted an ambitious, holistic approach to sustainable food production – and we hope to see other food companies follow suit.
And being global is what the 2022 awards were all about. This year, we’ve truly witnessed the international nature of the cage-free movement with winners right across the globe, and some of them firsts.
We were delighted to present the very first Good Egg Awards in Japan, to retail chain Shunrakuzen, and in Spain, to the leading egg producer Huevos Guillén.
In China, Zoo Coffee was the first in their sector to receive a Good Egg Award, alongside egg producer PianGuan Yong Ao, and seven producers received Good Pig Production Awards.
Carrefour became the first major retailer in Brazil to be awarded for driving better standards for laying hens. They received a Good Egg Commendation for their own-brand cage-free egg commitment and picked up the Best Retailer Marketing Award for their in-store marketing campaign, promoting the welfare benefits of cage-free eggs – a move which will undoubtedly bolster the cage-free movement in that region.
Carrefour France received a Good Chicken Award having achieved a significant transition to the Better Chicken Commitment criteria for their fresh/frozen chicken, and Italian retailer Cortilia became the first in their sector to receive a Good Chicken Award in Italy.
We presented two Rabbit Innovation Awards to BreFood in Germany (with producers leading the way in cage-free production in China) and Wisium in France. They have both developed innovative cage-free rabbit rearing systems with permanent access to wintergardens, where rabbits have the choice to go outside in an enriched outdoor patio area to enjoy fresh air and sunlight.
To cap it all, Domino’s received this year’s prestigious Cage Free Award in recognition of the work they are doing to end the use of ALL cages across ALL species in their European supply chain.
Our two Sustainable Food and Farming Awards went to businesses on opposite sides of the world, both of which help producers adopt better animal welfare, environmental protection and sustainable farming methods.
Hilltribe Organics Ltd (HTO) is a great initiative that is not only driving the organic free-range egg market in Thailand, but supporting local communities and promoting sustainable and regenerative farming practices.
French dairy company Laiteries H.Triballat-Rians picked up the corporate award for their ‘Sustainable livestock farming’ project. They have encouraged the development of pasture access for 100% of their farms (they work with 450 producers) and have worked towards increasing the longevity of the cows and goats in their supply.
They are also phasing out deforesting soy in feed and are planting up to 40km of new hedges. This work was judged as a good example of how a dairy group can help its farmers adopt better animal welfare, environmental protection and sustainable farming measures.
In another first, MOWI, the world’s largest producer of Atlantic salmon, received a Special Recognition Award for becoming the first producer to make global welfare commitments on the rearing and slaughter of Atlantic salmon.
While it’s wonderful to see all these commitments across the globe, we need to continually push the boundaries of measuring and improving animal welfare and Waitrose is doing just that. They won this year’s Best Retailer Innovation Award for developing the first Qualitative Behavioural Assessment App to measure the emotional wellbeing of animals in the drive to continually improve their quality of life.
Waitrose’s constant aspiration to be the best and to do what is right for animals and for their customers makes them true leaders in farm animal welfare and this year they achieved overall Best Retailer Award for the fourth consecutive year.
This year’s Awards have been truly inspirational with companies showing genuine leadership and motivation at a time when the global food industry has been confronted with serious issues following the pandemic, and now the war in Ukraine. There are positive signs of global change and, excitingly, many excellent prospects for scaling up activities which will help to drive the transformational change that’s needed to set us on our course towards a more humane, sustainable, and resilient food system for all.