With growing consumer and investor attention, brands are facing increasing pressure to safeguard the welfare of animals in their supply chains and improve standards to help protect operations and reputation.

As the leading global measure of farm animal welfare management, policy commitment, performance and disclosure, The Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) has released its ninth annual report, sharing results for 150 of the world’s largest food companies, across 24 countries spanning retail, producers/manufacturers and restaurants.

Since the first report launched back in 2012, the 2020 report reveals progress, with the overall average score increasing to 35% from 34% in 2019, although clearly, there is still more to be done.

Key findings from the BBFAW report

  • 89% of the 150 companies covered in the 2020 benchmark acknowledge animal welfare as a relevant business issue
  • 79% have formal overarching policies on animal welfare in place
  • 79% have published formal objectives and targets for animal welfare
  • 54% report including animal welfare in supplier contracts
  • 55% have internal controls for managing non-compliance with animal welfare policies

Animal welfare progress by sector

According to the 2020 report, producers and manufacturers have made the most significant progress, with a 3% increase to 38% compared to 2019.. Retailers have stayed fairly static at 36% with restaurants lagging slightly behind with a 31% average score.

Animal welfare progress by geography

Despite improvements across the world, UK based companies continue to lead the way with an average score of 64%, followed by Europe (excluding the UK) with an average score of 40%.

Tracking and reporting animal welfare progress

Agreeing goals and objectives concerning animal welfare can be challenging but its the critical first step businesses need to take. The real challenge arises when it comes to measuring progress against these defined goals as often, businesses fail to have the processes and tools in place to deliver the actionable insight required to inform future direction and identify areas of focus.

“The BBFAW recognises that performance disclosure is essential to driving improvements in the welfare of animals managed by companies and their supply chains but that this can only be achieved and sustained once companies have established effective internal and supply chain processes for managing and governing farm animal welfare.”

BBFAW 2020 Report

With an average score of just 14%, for many businesses included in the benchmark, it is clear that company performance reporting is neither comprehensive across all of their supply chains, nor clearly defined.

Accelerating animal welfare progress with transparency technology

Visualising the true scale of supply chains and reporting progress against animal welfare goals can seem daunting. But implementing supply chain software to provide transparency, highlight potential risk and generate real-time data from anywhere in the world can help.

The Authenticate platform has a suite of digital tools available to businesses to maintain and improve standards concerning animal welfare all the way back to source, including:

  • Digital Audits – send bespoke assessments to generate risk scores and benchmark suppliers
  • Document Management – share animal welfare policies and collate supplier acknowledgements in a central environment
  • Certifications – monitor supplier status against recognized certification schemes such as RSPCA Assured, BRC, Global GAP and Sedex
  • KPI Manager – collate supplier performance and metrics for key priority areas ranging from live transportation time, antibiotic use and pre-slaughter stunning

Trusted by BBFAW companies

Used by leading, BBFAW benchmarked brands, we’ve been empowering businesses to drive animal welfare improvements with our supply chain transparency technology since 2013.

“We are committed to working with our farming partners to monitor and improve the health and welfare of animals in our supply chains. Over the last 7 years using the Authenticate platform, we’ve been able to capture data and drive continuous improvement against our objectives by reviewing performance against defined KPIs on a quarterly basis. The technology has provided real-time insight to promote best practice with our trusted UK farms, whilst maintaining assurance to certification schemes including Red Tractor and RSPCA.”

Agricultural Compliance Manager at The Co-op

Interested in discussing how we can help accelerate progress against animal welfare objectives for your business? Get in touch.

For more information on the Authenticate platform or to discuss your challenges and requirements, get in touch with the team.