Consumers increasingly care about welfare – is your business doing enough?

With growing concern about food provenance and ethical production, the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) 2016 report analyses positive drivers to improved corporate practice and performance on farm animal welfare

With growing concern about food provenance and ethical production, the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) 2016 report shines a light on how global food companies are managing and reporting on these critical issues; and how things have improved since the first report was published five years ago. It analyses both the positive drivers to improved corporate practice and performance on farm animal welfare as well as the hurdles.

BBFAW was set up with the aim of having a positive impact on farm animal welfare standards in the world’s leading food businesses. The report covers 99 countries across food retailers and wholesalers; restaurants and bars; and food producers.

Here are some of its key findings:

The practice and reporting of farm animal welfare is still relatively underdeveloped compared with other corporate responsibility issues – while 87% of respondents acknowledge it as a business issue only 73% have formalised their commitment with policies and just 65% have set related objectives and targets. However, the report also shows that over the last five years, companies are paying increasing attention to farm animal welfare.

Farm animal welfare is emerging as a source of competitive advantage

While managing risk in the supply chain remains a key driver in this area, increasingly companies are recognising the commercial opportunities to be gained if, rather than just seeing farm animal welfare as a compliance requirement, they make it central to their CSR policy. Food businesses are becoming aware that the issue can help them to differentiate themselves by responding to consumer demand for higher welfare products as well as for better quality, healthier food from local producers.

Growing commitment across the food industry

The 13 companies in the top two tiers which show a strong commitment to farm animal welfare (supported by clear management systems and processes and performance measures) are spread across food retailers and wholesalers; restaurants and bars; and food producers; across the countries surveyed; and across different types of business structure. This indicates that it is realistic for companies throughout the food industry to aspire to and achieve high standards of farm animal welfare.

Institutional investors are starting to have an impact

The research shows that farm animal welfare is increasingly being identified by companies and their investors as a key CSR issue.

This latest report is further evidence that the growing concern from consumers about what they are eating and how it has been produced, is having a real business impact. With issues around ethical production gathering pace, food companies are starting to recognise the competitive advantage to be gained by being able to demonstrate higher standards of animal welfare, making it vital that they have detailed insight into their full supply chain. The Authenticate IS platform incorporates the latest technology to enable food companies to map the whole of the supply chain, down to an individual farm where an animal was reared, the number of hours it grazed and the grain it was fed.

For more information on how to join the Authenticate IS platform, call us on 01423 548 583 or email enquiries@authenticateis.com

Posted by: Authenticate 03/10/2017