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Appetite for Change

News Section Icon Published 02/04/2020

The Business Benchmark On Farm Animal Welfare Report

Today (2nd April), the eighth annual Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) has been released. This report – supported by Compassion and World Animal Protection – evaluates the standards of animal welfare that are employed by companies and ranks them by achievements and highlights those that need to do more.

The 2019 Benchmark, which analysed 150 global food companies across 24 countries, sees Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Cranswick, Noble Foods and Co-op Group (Switzerland) retain their Tier 1 position, and Migros moving up into Tier 1 from Tier 2.

Report findings

  • 30 companies have moved up at least one tier since 2018. This is the largest year-on-year increase since the Benchmark was established in 2012
  • 60% of the world’s leading food companies now have formal farm animal welfare policies and appropriate management processes for ensuring they are effectively deployed internally and throughout their supply chains
  • The number of companies that are considered to have farm animal welfare as an integral part of their business strategy has grown from 3 (out of 68) in 2012 to 22 (out of 150) in 2019
  • The UK has significantly higher animal welfare scores (64%) compared to companies from other geographic area

An instrumental influence

Our CEO, Philip Lymbery, says: “For the last eight years, the Benchmark has been instrumental in encouraging global food businesses to adopt new policies on farm animal welfare. Now, the onus is on companies demonstrating strong performance to implement these policies, by for example, making sure that cage-free systems are fit for purpose and delivered in a timely fashion.”

The Benchmark is increasingly recognised and quoted as the measurement of farm animal welfare standards by the world’s leading food businesses and is respected by financial investors. The tier grading system makes it easy for investors and consumers to figure out which companies are succeeding at prioritising the welfare of farmed animals, and those that have fallen short.

More work to be done

Our Food Business team is proud to have worked in depth on the animal welfare policies, practices and performance of 13 of the 30 companies that have improved their tier ranking this year – most notably those that appear in Tiers 1 and 2 of the Benchmark - and with three companies that have maintained their position within BBFAW.

There is still plenty of work to be done, but there appears to be both an appetite and a willingness for change within the food industry, the financial sector and crucially amongst consumers who are a key driving force behind it. With your help, we will continue to work with food companies to improve the lives of animals in their supply chains.

To find out more, watch the video below or visit


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