The prestigious annual Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards ceremony hosted by Compassion in World Farming should have taken place on 16 June at the Tower of London, but, like so many other events it was a casualty of COVID-19 and was cancelled.
Compassion, however, are still keen to recognise those companies committing to higher welfare production and sourcing, through its awards programme. This year, 34 awards were given across the UK, EU, China and the US, set to benefit the lives of 28 million animals each year. This takes the overall impact of Compassion’s Food Business programme to date, through awards, partnership projects and corporate pledges, to over 2 billion animals set to benefit annually.
Dr Tracey Jones, Director of Food Business said: “Despite these challenging times it has been truly heartening to see companies move forwards with their commitments to animal welfare. Although many businesses have been closed, and for some these are incredibly uncertain times, it is encouraging to see that farm animal welfare is still central to business plans for our future food.”
This year there were 12 Good Egg Awards, three Good Chicken Awards, one Good Turkey Award, four Good Calf Awards, five Good Dairy Commendations, one Good Sow Commendation, one Good Rabbit Commendation, six Good Pig Production Awards in China and one Cage Free Award presented to Coop UK.
In terms of sector breakdown there were nine retailers recognised for their work, five food service companies and 20 producers or manufacturers (including the six Chinese Good Pig Production Award winners).
Coop UK received the prestigious Cage Free Award this year in recognition of the retailer’s efforts to support cage free farming, and in particular, working with their supply chain partners Winterbotham Darby, to drive higher welfare production through the removal of confinement systems for sows in their continental meat supply chain in Italy, Spain and Germany.
In 2008, Coop UK received a Good Egg Award for making a cage free commitment across its shell and ingredient eggs. In 2018, the retailer received a Good Pig Award for its higher welfare fresh and frozen pig meat, announcing in July 2018 that all its own brand pork, bacon, sausage, gammon and ham was sourced from 100% outdoor-bred pigs on RSPCA Assured Farms. Now in 2020, Coop UK are being recognised for their commitment to improve the welfare of sows in their continental meat supply chain which includes the removal of sow stalls, the introduction of free farrowing and the use of manipulable materials throughout life. This action will drive positive change in continental meat production and demonstrates the type of leadership shown by previous Cage Free Award recipients, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose.
Aldi UK & Ireland and Lidl UK received a Good Egg Award. Both have made a cage-free commitment on shell and ingredients eggs, going a step further than those retailers that have limited their commitments to just whole eggs. Companies that are serious about delivering good hen welfare need to ensure that their cage-free commitments also include those eggs that are hidden in products and ingredients. With these latest commitments, Aldi and Lidl have demonstrated that good farm animal welfare practices really can come at affordable retail prices.
Fritz Walleczek, Managing Director of Corporate Responsibility at Aldi UK and Ireland said: “As a responsible retailer, animal welfare is always a top priority for us. We are thrilled to receive the Good Egg Award as recognition of our continuing efforts to ensure the high welfare standards we insist on are upheld throughout the supply chain.”
Amali Bunter, Responsible Sourcing Manager, Lidl Great Britain added: “We are proud to be recognised by Compassion in World Farming for our commitment to sourcing 100% cage-free eggs by 2025. As part of Lidl’s vision to ‘make good food accessible to everyone’ we are committed to working closely with our suppliers and the wider sector to achieve this goal, delivering greater transparency and higher welfare standards across our supply base.”
A Good Calf Award was presented to Morrisons in recognition of the work they have done as a joint venture partnership with Arla Foods and Buitelaar through their own meat contracting and processing business, Woodhead Brothers. Their new higher welfare integrated dairy beef scheme has the potential to benefit around 2,000 calves per year and is seriously influencing the supply chain through two likeminded producers. The aim is that by 2025 all Morrisons dairy beef will be sourced as part of this scheme.
Sophie Throup, Head of Agriculture, Fisheries and Sustainable Sourcing at Morrisons said: “At Morrisons, our customers tell us time and again how important animal welfare is to them. We therefore continue to develop, innovate, measure and monitor animal welfare standards, and to work closely with the farmers and suppliers we buy directly from. We are pleased to receive the Good Calf Award in recognition of the efforts we are making now, and in the future, to ensure farm animals are well looked after at every stage of their lives.”
Norwegian discount retailer REMA 1000 Norge AS and Norwegian poultry producer, Norsk Kyllig have worked collaboratively to successfully implement the higher welfare requirements of the Better Chicken Commitment. By developing a fully integrated value chain and actively marketing their slower growing ‘Hubbard’ chicken to their customers, they have created a thriving market for their higher welfare chicken – making it work economically for both businesses and consumers alike – which has resulted in REMA 1000 increasing its market share in terms of chicken sales in Norway.
This sets an inspiring example to other businesses, demonstrating how all parties can benefit if they work together to find supply chain solutions for higher welfare products. For this work, both REMA 1000 and Norsk Kyllig received a Good Chicken Award.
Tracey Jones concludes: “It’s fantastic to see that there is still an appetite to improve the welfare of farm animals amongst key food industry players, despite the difficulties COVID-19 has thrown at them, and I wholeheartedly congratulate them all.
“Farm animal welfare is not just for the good times or the niche products – every animal reared for food deserves a good quality of life. As we emerge from this pandemic there is much to learn, none more so than how we balance the relationship between the food we eat, its impact on the environment, natural resources and rich biodiversity of our fragile planet, and the health and livelihoods of its people. Never in our history has it been so urgent to build a more resilient sustainable food system with animal welfare at its heart. Our corporate partners are on that journey and we will continue to work with them to drive this much needed change.”
Full list of winners: (full details of winners’ policies available on request)
Good Egg Award Winners (12)
- Aldi UK (Retailer, UK)
- CH&CO (Food Service, UK)
- Coraya (Manufacturer/Producer, France)
- Fattoria Roberti (Manufacturer/Producer, Italy)
- Flunch (Food Service, France)
- Fresystem Spa (Manufacturer/Producer, Italy)
- Hippopotamus (Food Service, France)
- Lidl UK (Retailer, UK)
- Marr (Food Service, Italy)
- Noble Foods (Manufacturer/Producer, UK)
- Système U (Retailer, France)
- Taco Bell (Food Service, US)
Good Chicken Award Winners (3)
- Franprix (Retailer, France)
- Norsk Kyllig (Manufacturer/Producer, Norway)
- REMA 1000 Norge AS (Retailer, Norway)
Good Turkey Award Winners (1)
- COOK (Manufacturer/Producer, UK)
Good Calf Award Winners (4)
- Drevon Veaux (Manufacturer/Producer, France)
- Morrisons (Retailer, UK)
- Schiever (Retailer, France)
- Warrendale Wagyu (Manufacturer/Producer, UK)
Good Dairy Commendation Winners (5)
- AJ & RG Barbers Ltd (Manufacturer/Producer, UK)
- Casearia Sant’Anna (Manufacturer/Producer, Italy)
- COOK (Manufacturer/Producer, UK)
- Pensworth (Manufacturer/Producer. UK)
- Philadelphia (Manufacturer/Producer, Germany, Sweden, Austria, France, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Malta, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Iceland, Romania, Ukraine, Hungary)
Good Sow Commendation Winner (1)
- Bastides Selection (Manufacturer/Producer, UK)
Good Rabbit Commendation Winner (1)
- Carrefour (Retailer, France)
Cage Free Award Winner (1)
- Coop UK (Retailer, UK)
Chinese Awards – these are awarded according to criteria that equate to stars, five stars being the highest achievement
Good Pig Production Award Winners (6 winners in total)
- Sunzhao Demonstration farm (Henan Nongduoduo Agro-pastoral Ecological Technology Co., Ltd.) 4*
- Heilongjiang Jingzhe Forest Food Group Co., Ltd. 3*
- JiNing DongSan Indigenous DaPulian Pig Breed Farm 3*
- No. 24 Houma Farm (Muyuan Foods Co., Ltd.) 2*
- Huaiji Guangdong Wens FoodStuff Group Co., Ltd. FengKai ChangAn Pig Farm (Wens FoodStuff Group Co., Ltd.) 2*
- Sifanghong (Yuxian) Agro-pastoral Development Co., Ltd. 2*