The tenth annual Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) report, launched today (16th March), reveals that while companies continue to invest in animal welfare, they are too slow in delivering meaningful welfare impacts on the ground.
BBFAW is the leading global measure of policy commitment, performance, and disclosure on animal welfare in food companies. It analyzes the farm animal welfare management and performance of 150 of the world’s largest food companies and is designed to help drive higher farm animal welfare standards in the world’s leading food businesses and provide a benchmark to inform investor choices.
The 2022 BBFAW report reveals that of the 150 companies evaluated worldwide:
- 122 companies (81%) have formal policies on farm animal welfare (compared to 46% of companies in 2012)
- 119 companies (79%) have published formal objectives and targets for animal welfare (compared to just 26% of companies in 2012).
- The benchmark’s top tier comprises two British-based food retailers and two British food producers – Marks and Spencer, Waitrose, Noble Foods, and Premier Foods. No US food companies made the top tier for farm animal welfare.
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.
More needs to be done
Despite these positive results, implementation of animal welfare improvements continues to lag policies and governance. For example, although 88 companies (59%) report some data relating to cage-free production of laying hens, only 23 companies (15%) report that 60% or more of the laying hens in their global supply chains are cage-free.
There remains a disconnect between many companies’ disclosure of management processes and the subsequent impact on farm animal welfare in their supply chains. None of the evaluated companies achieved an "A" Impact Rating and only five companies – including Marks & Spencer and Waitrose – achieved a "B" Impact Rating.
Delivering welfare improvements
Ben Williamson, US Executive Director at Compassion in World Farming, said:
A decade on, it’s encouraging to see BBFAW continue to make great progress in getting companies to invest in animal welfare. Yet, the 2022 report shows that companies are often too slow in turning policies into meaningful improvements to animals’ lives.
Read more about Compassion in World Farming's Food Business work.