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News Section Icon Published 3/30/2021



LONDON (March 30, 2021) - Today, the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW)—the leading global measure of policy commitment, performance, and disclosure on animal welfare in food companies—launched its ninth annual report, which offers a deep dive into the management and reporting of farm animal welfare practices by the world’s leading food companies in 2020.

The 2020 Benchmark, supported by Compassion in World Farming and World Animal Protection, paints a global picture of corporate animal welfare practices, with analysis of 150 of the biggest names in the food industry.

US highlights in this year’s report include:

  • KraftHeinz moved into Tier 3 and Papa John’s Pizza into Tier 4, both up one tier since last year’s assessment. Other US-based companies BJ’s Wholesale, Cooke Seafood, Mars, and US Foods also moved up one tier—however, these companies moved from bottom-most Tier 6 into Tier 5, indicating that a significant amount of work remains for these companies to improve their management of farmed animal welfare.
  • CKE Restaurants, parent company of restaurant chains Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., plummeted to Tier 6 after the removal of their animal welfare policy from the public domain, which included their public commitment to sourcing 100% cage-free eggs.
  • Several other US companies moved down at least one tier since the year prior, including Aramark, Chipotle Mexican Grill, General Mills, Perdue Farms, Publix Super Markets, Subway, and UNFI. Many of these drops reflect a key change in this year’s BBFAW methodology, which added increased weight to public impact reporting—a change intended to emphasize the importance of policies translating into meaningful action. In large part, US-based companies remain in the bottom two tiers.

Global trends illuminated by this year’s report include:

  • Despite pandemic-related challenges, company reporting on progress towards 100% cage-free egg supplies is on the rise—61% of BBFAW-analyzed companies reported on that metric this year. However, progress towards other key animal welfare goals, like the transition to lower stocking densities for chickens raised for meat or the elimination of pig gestation crates, remains largely unreported.
  • For the first time in BBFAW history, food producers and manufacturers now represent the highest scoring industry sector on farm animal welfare, with an overall average score of 38%.
  • Further, food producers and manufacturers are now the most represented sector in Tiers 1 and 2 of the Benchmark: Barilla, Cargill, Cranswick, Danish Crown, Groupe Danone, Fonterra, Hilton Food Group, Marfrig Global Foods, Nestlé, Noble Foods, Premier Foods, and Unilever are all displaying leadership on animal welfare.
  • However, over a third (39%) of the companies covered by the BBFAW remain in the bottom two tiers, offering little or no information on their approach to farm animal welfare. In fact, 31 global food companies still lack an overarching farm animal welfare policy.
  • Regionally, this year’s report shows that momentum is building in Latin America and Asia Pacific, two regions that include some of the biggest names in global meat production.

Philip Lymbery, Global CEO at Compassion in World Farming International, said:

This is the ninth annual BBFAW report and I’d like to thank our co-sponsors, World Animal Protection, for sharing the journey with us since 2012, during which time we have seen extraordinary company progress.

The current pandemic has been deeply challenging for everyone, particularly for the hospitality sector, and at the same time, has underlined the need for progressive change toward healthier, more resilient, animal-welfare friendly food systems. The need to convert effective policies into practice has never been more urgent.

As the 2020 Benchmark demonstrates, giving greater weight to the implementation of progressive practices has become a key corporate performance indicator on animal welfare and thereby health, which will remain important going forward.


Nicky Amos, Executive Director of the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare, said:

The 2020 findings show how BBFAW is driving corporate action on farm animal welfare, with around two-thirds of companies actively managing the business risks and opportunities associated with farm animal welfare, and 79% of companies having committed to improvement objectives and targets linked to farm animal welfare. The progress made by companies on managing farm animal welfare since the BBFAW’s inception in 2012 is remarkable and should be applauded. However, as BBFAW enters its tenth year, our expectation is that companies need to demonstrate how their management commitments are translating into improved welfare impacts for animals on the ground.


Explore the full report at




For more information, please contact:

Alison Spasser
Senior Manager, Brand and Communications
Compassion in World Farming
(706) 834-7247



Notes to editors:

  1. The Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) is the globally-recognized investor framework for assessing the quality of companies’ practices, processes, and performance on farm animal welfare.
  2. The Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare, founded in 2012, is supported by its founding partners: Leading animal welfare organizations Compassion in World Farming and World Animal Protection.
  3. BBFAW provides an annual, independent assessment of farm animal welfare management and performance in global food companies. It enables investors, companies, NGOs, and other stakeholders to understand corporate practice and performance on farm animal welfare. More information on the program can be found at
  4. Through the annual benchmark, extensive engagement programs with investors and with companies, and the production of guidance and other materials for companies and investors, BBFAW has driven higher farm animal welfare standards across the world’s leading food businesses.
  5. BBFAW 2020 is the ninth annual report from the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare. It analyzes the farm animal welfare management and performance of 150 of the world’s largest food companies, across 37 distinct, objective criteria. As such, it is the most authoritative and comprehensive global account of corporate practice on farm animal welfare.
  6. The 2020 Benchmark covers 150 global food companies across 25 countries: 52 Retailers and Wholesalers, 63 Producers and Manufacturers, and 35 Restaurants and Bars. The list includes listed and non-listed companies.
  7. Companies were assessed on their approach to managing farm animal welfare in four areas: (1) Management Commitment, (2) Governance and Management, (3) Innovation and Leadership, and (4) Performance Reporting and Impact.
  8. In line with the BBFAW’s objective to drive improvements in the welfare of animals farmed for food, the weighting of the performance reporting and impact questions (which make up 35% of total score) was further adjusted in 2020 to emphasize welfare impact over performance disclosure, with the aim of encouraging companies to focus on welfare impact in supply chains (the ten questions relating to welfare impact now account for 60% of the weighting of the Performance Reporting and Impact section, from 56% in 2019). In addition, the scores from four new questions introduced in 2019 were included in the 2020 Benchmark for the first time, and the scoring of one further question was modified. These changes to the BBFAW methodology resulted in 11 companies being ranked one Tier lower than they would otherwise have ranked and a decrease of 1.2% in the overall average score for all companies.
  9. Company assessments were based on information published by companies on the date of their assessments. All companies were assessed during the period from October 1 to November 30, 2020.
  10. The number of companies considered to have farm animal welfare as an integral part of their business strategy has grown significantly over the eight Benchmark cycles, from 3 (out of 68) in 2012 to 25 (out of 150) in 2020. 
  11. Cranswick, Marks & Spencer, Noble Foods and Waitrose retain their Tier 1 position.
  12. Twenty-three of the 150 companies assessed in 2020 improved by at least one Tier in the 2020 Benchmark. These companies are:
    • Ahold Delhaize o Auchan Holding o Barilla o Bimbo
    • BJ’s Wholesale Club Holdings
    • Carrefour SA
    • Charoen Pokphand Foods
    • Cooke Seafood, Inc.
    • Cooperativa Centrale Aurora Alimentos 
    • IKEA (Inter IKEA Group)
    • Fonterra
    • Jeronimo Martins
    • KraftHeinz
    • Lidl Stiftung & Co KG
    • Marfrig Global (risen by two tiers)
    • Mars, Inc.
    • Meiji Holdings
    • Minerva Foods (risen by two tiers)
    • Papa John’s Pizza
    • Schwarz Unternehmens Treuhand KG/Kaufland
    • Unilever NV
    • US Foods
    • Woolworths Group
  13. In the 2020 Benchmark, 15 companies fell by one Tier. The number of companies moving down is higher than we have seen in previous years. Our analysis of the scoring indicates that 11 of the 15 companies moved down a Tier because of the changes to the 2020 methodology. A further explanation for this could be the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly for the restaurants and bars sector, which has led to some companies failing to update their reporting. These companies are:
    • ALDI Süd o Aramark Corporation
    • Chipotle Mexican Grill
    • CKE Restaurants
    • Coop Group (Switzerland)/Coop Genossenschaft
    • ICA Gruppen AB
    • General Mills, Inc.
    • Metro AG
    • Migros (fallen by two tiers)
    • Perdue Farms
    • Publix Super Markets Inc
    • SSP Group o Subway/Doctor’s Associates, Inc.
    • Terrena Group
    • UNFI

More information on the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare program can be found at


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