Report: The Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare 2017 report
The 2017 Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare report analyses farm animal welfare management and performance of 110 global food companies, including retailers, wholesalers, food producers, restaurants and bars.
The report’s finding include:
- Farm animal welfare is seen as a strategic opportunity by many companies, with 72% of the surveyed companies having published plans to improve farm animal welfare.
- Companies are setting targets on key animal welfare issues such as avoiding close confinement, sow stalls and cages for laying hens.
- The number of companies that consider farm animal welfare integral to their strategy has increased in recent years, as shown in the figure below.
- Reporting on animal welfare performance is becoming more common. For example, 54% of the companies provide some data on the proportion of animals free from close confinement.
- Consumer demand is important: 79% of respondents identified customer and client interest as the most important influence on their approach to animal welfare.
- Barriers to progress include costs and capital investment, a lack of awareness of the business benefits of animal welfare and the perception that customers don’t want to pay more for better animal welfare.
While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.