Yesterday (27th June), our Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards ceremony took place in Brussels, where market leading food companies from across the globe were celebrated and awarded for their commitment to higher farm animal welfare.
A united movement
Our CEO, Philip Lymbery, opened the ceremony highlighting how the animal welfare movement has recently united under our End the Cage Age European Citizens’ Initiative calling for a total ban on the use of cages for all farm animals across Europe, and securing well over one million signatures.
This year saw the launch of a number of new awards: The Good Turkey Award, the Good Calf Award, and the Sustainable Food and Farming Award for companies taking steps to produce meat, dairy or eggs in ways that protect, improve and restore wildlife and the environment.
Striving to improve welfare
The ceremony was hosted by TV presenter, vet and author Emma Milne who said: “I’m hugely honoured to have been asked to host this year’s Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards. All the time we use animals for food it’s essential that we keep striving to improve their welfare, not just in life but in death too. These awards recognise those companies who embrace this.”
And the Awards go to…
A total of 50 award winners were recognised this year, including our main awards for hens, broilers, dairy cattle, pigs and rabbits, our new awards for turkeys and calves, and the Sustainable Food and Farming Awards.
Our 2019 Award winners are set to improve the lives of over 39 million animals each year.
Our biennial Retailer Awards featured once again this year, as well as a Rabbit Innovation Award and a Cage Free Award, which are both kindly supported by the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust.
Additionally, 17 producers from China were recognised through our China Production Awards, for the great work they are doing to improve the lives of pigs, hens, and broiler chickens. Over 10 million farm animals are set to benefit from this year’s Chinese Award winners’ policies and practices.
Celebrating leadership in Retail
We saw the return of our Retailer Awards where Waitrose & Partners was named overall Best Retailer, beating competition from 27 retailers across Europe in this year’s Supermarket Survey. They also picked up, for the second time, the Best Retailer Marketing Award for their consistent and high level consumer-facing communications on farm animal welfare.
“It’s a huge honour to receive these awards, and to win the Best Retailer once again is a particularly proud accomplishment” commented Duncan Sinclair, Agriculture Manager at Waitrose & Partners. “It takes a lot of passion, dedication and hard work to maintain the high standards we have become famous for over the past 30 years, and we owe a considerable amount to the longstanding relationships we have with our farmers for building that reputation. Without their loyalty and commitment, our pursuit and retention of such pioneering animal welfare standards would not be possible and we share these accolades with them.”
Global food industry shift
Our Director of Food Business, Tracey Jones, said: “There is undoubtedly a major shift happening across the global food industry towards higher welfare, as market forces continue to shape the way we produce and eat our food. While change is being driven by consumer demand for animal welfare and the need to look after our planet, it is the food industry that is making this change a reality.”
“I wholeheartedly congratulate this year’s Award winners and hope that others will follow in their footsteps, for the sake of our animals, our health and ultimately the health of our planet”.
To find out more about our Food Business impact, click here.