We are now in the run-up to Compassion’s annual awards event aimed at encouraging businesses to make big changes for animal welfare. This year’s event will be in Milan, Italy in June. Ahead of the event, I would like to share with you some major successes we’ve achieved through working with food companies big and small, global and local.
At Compassion in World Farming, I have made it a priority as CEO to work with food companies to encourage real change; for example going cage-free on all their eggs. This has become a core feature of our work in Europe for some years and is now a priority for us in the USA and China too.
Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards
Every year, our Good Farm Animal Awards recognises companies making commitments to significant improvements in animal welfare. I am pleased our work has borne fruit, making changes already benefiting hundreds of millions of farm animals with better lives.
We’ve come a long way in just a few years. I gave my first opening address at our inaugural ‘Good Egg Awards’ ceremony in the House of Commons, Westminster in 2007. Since then, we have recognised more than 600 companies as having made serious commitments to improving the animal welfare standards of the food they sell.
Companies like Subway, Starbucks, Sainsbury’s, Unilever and McDonald’s – the world’s largest restaurant chain, have taken pledges to use cage-free eggs in the UK and/or Europe. The Co-operative Food and the ice-cream manufacturer, Ben & Jerry’s, have made pledges to source milk from cows with access to pasture, instead of kept permanently indoors.
We run a regular survey of supermarkets which scores them on their policies, performance and overall approach to farm animal welfare. As an incentive to do better, we award the best on animal welfare and the most improved. Previous winners of our prestigious retailer awards have included Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and M&S. I’m excited at the prospect in a month’s time of revealing this year’s winner.
Rabbits to take centre stage at forthcoming Awards
The 2015 Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards ceremony will be held at the Milan Expo on 9th June. I am delighted to announce that we are introducing a new category – the Good Rabbit Award; this will help us work with companies to get rabbits out of appalling factory farm cages. This new incentive joins the Good Egg Award, the Good Chicken Award, the Good Dairy Award and the Good Pig Award.
We’re already making progress on rabbits, the forgotten factory farmed animal. So far, more than 1.2 million meat rabbits will benefit each year with better welfare. This is as a result of commitments made by our 2013 ‘Best Retailer Innovation Award’ winner – German retailer Kaufland – and our 2014 ‘Rabbit Innovation Award’ winner, German wholesaler BreFood.
Watch the videos below to find out more about how these food companies are leading the way in rabbit welfare:
Rabbit Innovation Award 2014
Best Retailer Innovation Award