2 April 2020



London, 2 April 2020: The Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW), the leading global measure of policy commitment, performance and disclosure on animal welfare in food companies, has launched its eighth annual report in London today.

The 2019 Benchmark, which analysed 150 global food companies and is supported by Compassion in World Farming and World Animal Protection sees Co-op Group (Switzerland), Cranswick, Marks & Spencer, Migros, Noble Foods and Waitrose recognised as global leaders on farm animal welfare.

Beyond the individual company rankings, the BBFAW 2019 reports that 60 per cent of the world’s leading food companies now have formal farm animal welfare policies and appropriate management processes for ensuring they are effectively deployed internally and through supply chains. It cites consumer
interest in farm animal welfare, coupled with positive momentum inside a majority of the world’s most influential food companies as key accelerators of year on year change. However, it warns that progress is still too slow with 40 per cent of the 150 companies still appearing in the bottom tiers, providing little or no information about how they are managing the risks and opportunities associated with farm animal welfare.

Nicky Amos, Executive Director of the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare, said: “The 2019 findings demonstrate that the BBFAW continues to be an important driver of change. An increasing number of companies are using the annual benchmark to drive continuous improvement in farm animal welfare practices, performance and disclosure. However, it is clear there is a great deal more to do if farm animal welfare is to become institutionalised across the global food industry.”

She continued: “In 2019, the rise in consumer and investor interest, coupled with increasing pressure on suppliers from food companies signals a “perfect storm” for moving the dial on farm animal welfare. Our 2019 company and investor surveys tell us that customer interest in animal welfare is the primary driver for business action for 79% of companies, while 82% of investors consider
animal welfare to be an investment risk. Companies that fail to take responsibility for ensuring the welfare of animals farmed for food can expect heightened scrutiny from their business customers and partners, from investors, and from consumers.”

Philip Lymbery, Global CEO at Compassion in World Farming, commented: “For the last eight years, the Benchmark has been instrumental in encouraging globalfood businesses to adopt new policies on farm animal welfare. Now, the onus is on companies demonstrating strong performance to implement those policies, by for example, making sure that cage-free systems are fit for purpose and
delivered in a timely fashion.”

Steve McIvor, CEO at World Animal Protection, said: “Although the animal welfare movement is starting to pick up pace, more work needs to be done. The exploitation of billions of animals on factory farms not only cause mass suffering to animals it exposes us to disease and puts us all at risk. Farm animals have suffered in cruel conditions for long enough. It’s time to change that and this tool makes it clear which companies are leading, and which are lagging.

“Food producers, supermarkets and restaurant chains will ignore the demands of consumers at their own peril. With this tool, we expose who’s leading the way on animal welfare, and who’s lagging and showing little concern for animal cruelty. The BBFAW tool provides a robust and objective analysis of corporate disclosure on farm animal welfare, and it takes out the hard work of reading through pages of company reports, so that the animal welfare information is easily accessible.”


Download PDF