13/07/2020 – News / Farming / Compassion / Sustainability / Animal / Welfare / Standards / Awards
Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards – 2020 winners announced
Hosted by Compassion in World Farming, the prestigious annual Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards ceremony could not take place at the Tower of London this month as planned. Nonetheless, this week the leading international farm animal welfare charity has recognised those companies committing to higher welfare production and sourcing, through its awards programme.
A total of 34 awards were given out to businesses across the UK, EU, China and the US this year, in recognition of higher welfare standards impacting the lives of 28 million animals each year. This takes the overall impact of Compassion’s Food Business programme to date, through awards, partnership projects and corporate pledges, to over two billion animals set to benefit annually.
“Despite these challenging times it has been truly heartening to see companies move forwards with their commitments to animal welfare,” said Dr Tracey Jones, Director of Food Business at Compassion in Farming. “Although many businesses have been closed, and for some these are incredibly uncertain times, it is encouraging to see that farm animal welfare is still central to business plans for our future food.”
Manufacturers, food service and retail recognised
This year there were 12 Good Egg Awards, three Good Chicken Awards, one Good Turkey Award, four Good Calf Awards, five Good Dairy Commendations, one Good Sow Commendation, one Good Rabbit Commendation, six Good Pig Production Awards in China and one Cage Free Award presented to Coop UK.
In terms of sector breakdown, there were 20 producers or manufacturers (including the six Chinese Good Pig Production Award winners) recognised for their work, alongside five food service companies and nine retailers.
Noble Foods bags Good Egg Award
Noble Foods, the UK’s biggest egg producer was awarded a Good Egg Award for its commitment to be 100-per-cent cage free by 2025. Working collaboratively with the British Egg Industry Council, Compassion and Tesco, Noble Foods helped develop a new higher welfare barn standard for UK egg production, which was introduced in November 2019.
In the past year, the team at Noble Foods has worked hard, alongside their equipment manufacturer, Vencomatic, to convert one of their large enriched colony caged units to the new higher welfare aviary barn system, coupled with an identical pullet-rearing unit. For a full explanation of Noble Foods’ new aviary barn system, check out this video: https://www.compassioninfoodbusiness.com/case-studies/technical-case-studies/noble-foods-higher-welfare-aviary-barn-system
“Animal welfare is of the utmost importance to Noble Foods and we’re extremely proud of the CIWF Good Egg Award,” remarked Jean-Paul Michalski, Company Farms Director at Noble Foods. “Our aim is to be an example and deliver standards of care that significantly push the boundaries to set new industry goals for responsible farming.”
COOK is bestowed with two awards
In 2020, COOK, manufacturer of luxury frozen ready meals, has been awarded two new accolades: the Good Turkey Award (up to 10,000 turkeys are estimated to benefit from this award per annum) and a Good Dairy Commendation. These latest awards add to a bulging trophy cabinet for the firm that already boasts a Good Egg Award (2011), Good Pig Award (2016) and Good Chicken Award (2017).
COOK said that it continually looks for ways to improve the welfare of farm animals involved in its supply chain, and actively promotes their welfare credentials, not just for the benefit of the animals but because they see the positive impact of their awards convert into additional sales. Indeed, COOK provides an excellent example of a luxury high street ready meal range bucking the trend to show that higher welfare can equal commercial success.
“We are absolutely thrilled to receive a Good Turkey Award,” enthused Tom Mayer, Head of Supply Chain at COOK. “A great deal of work went on behind the scenes at COOK to get us here in time for Christmas 2020, and this award marks an important step in our journey as a responsible food business.”
Mondelez awarded Good Dairy Commendation
Mondelez International received a Good Dairy Commendation in 2013 for its iconic Philadelphia brand, for improving dairy cow welfare across five European countries. This year, the firm has been awarded another Good Dairy Commendation for having expanded this higher welfare policy across a further 15 countries, increasing the number of dairy cows benefiting from its work by a further 66 per cent. This achievement was pursued in partnership with the food processing giant’s supplier and by collaborating with the German Dairy Standard, QM-Milk.
After its 2013 Award, Philadelphia embarked on an all-encompassing marketing campaign to promote the higher welfare credentials of its famous cheese, demonstrating the value of higher welfare in enhancing the brand’s drive for consumer loyalty.
“We recognise the link between animal welfare and the health of animals raised for food,” noted Valerie Thill, MD for Philadelphia at Mondelez Europe. “To secure high-quality milk and dairy products, we have always put good farm practices and animal welfare at the heart of our continuously improving process.We guarantee the unanimously loved taste of Philadelphia is made of fresh milk from farms we know and trust, of close working relationships with our milk suppliers and from happy and healthy cows in higher welfare systems that also respect the environment. We are proud to be recognised by Compassion in World Farming for our efforts to source even more milk from farms with best welfare conditions.”
AJ & RG Barber Ltd recognised for good dairy operations
Another recipient of a Good Dairy Commendation was award winning family cheese and butter making business, AJ & RG Barber Ltd. Using milk from its own farms and from an additional 140 dedicated and trusted dairy farms in Somerset and Dorset, the company creates top quality cheese using milk from cows that have access to lush pasture for an average of 200 days a year. This award underlines the fact that smaller-scale, traditional dairy farming can produce higher welfare cheese.
“We are delighted to have won a Good Dairy Commendation Award,” offered Charlie Barber, the firm’s Director. “At Barber’s we are committed to improving animal welfare standards and work collaboratively with our farmers and their vets to encourage improving health and welfare achievements on the farm. With this award we hope to strengthen our health and welfare credentials and appreciate just how important this approach is with customers and farmers alike."
Norwegian firms recognised for poultry collaboration
Norwegian poultry producer, Norsk Kyllig and Norwegian discount retailer REMA 1000 Norge AS have worked collaboratively to successfully implement the higher welfare requirements of the Better Chicken Commitment. By developing a fully integrated value chain and actively marketing their slower growing ‘Hubbard’ chicken to their customers, they have created a thriving market for their higher welfare chicken – making it work economically for both businesses and consumers alike. And this has resulted in REMA increasing its market share in terms of chicken sales in Norway.
This collaboration sets an inspiring example to other businesses, demonstrating how all parties can benefit if they work together to find supply chain solutions for higher welfare products. For this work, both REMA 1000 and Norsk Kyllig received a Good Chicken Award.
“We believe that improving animal welfare is of great importance to secure a sustainable poultry industry in the future,” remarked Kiell Stokbakken, CEO at Norsk Kyllig. “The Good Chicken Award represents for us a validation of our efforts to ensure animal welfare throughout our value chain and underlines our contribution to improving the poultry industry.”
Warrendale Wagyu recognised for higher welfare systems
Yorkshire based Warrendale Wagyu has introduced specialised Wagyu genetics in around 80 dairy farms to produce a high value Wagyu cross which it rears in higher welfare systems through specialist calf rearers. As the company owns the calves and has excellent links with the dairy farms, it is able to ensure all the calves reared for their Wagyu Beef are given adequate colostrum, have short transport times and are moving to paired housing. In recognition of this work, the firm received a Good Calf Award.
Six Chinese firms bag Good Pig Production Award
In 2020, six producers in China received a Good Pig Production Award. Compassion’s award
programme in China began in 2014, working with the International Co-operation Committee of Animal Welfare (ICCAW) and continues to make an impact on a country that consumes and produces half the world’s pig meat.
The Good Pig Production Awards reflect the efforts made in the breeding, housing, rearing and health management of the animals and are based on criteria that equate to stars, with five stars being the highest number achievable. This year, there was one four-star winner, two winners earned three stars, and a further three winners were awarded two-star commendations.
This year’s highest achiever was Sun Zhao Demonstration Farm, part of Henan Nongduo Agro-Pastoral Ecological Technology Co., Ltd, which earned four stars. This farm, established in 2017, raises 1,000 sows and ensures the welfare for nearly 20,000 finishers every year. The farm uses fermented bedding (except for the lactation period), group housing of dry sows (including the observation period), does not tail dock or teeth clip, and is committed to providing manipulable material throughout life – a key factor in providing effective environmental enrichment for pigs.
“We firmly believe the goal of improving animal welfare is the direction we need to follow in order to change the concept of farming; improve the living environment, improve animal welfare, provide safe products and achieve healthy farming,” said Mr Guoxiushan, the company’s production consultant, following the firm’s receipt of the award. “Let us keep our mission in mind and move ahead!”
Building a resilient, sustainable food system
“It’s fantastic to see that there is still an appetite to improve the welfare of farm animals amongst key food industry players, despite the difficulties COVID-19 has thrown at them, and I wholeheartedly congratulate them all,” enthused Compassion’s Food Business Director Dr Jones in closing.
“Farm animal welfare is not just for the good times or the niche products – every animal reared for food deserves a good quality of life. As we emerge from this pandemic, there is much to learn, none more so than how we balance the relationship between the food we eat, its impact on the environment, natural resources and rich biodiversity of our fragile planet, and the health and livelihoods of its people. Never in our history has it been so urgent to build a more resilient sustainable food system with animal welfare at its heart. Our corporate partners are on that journey and we will continue to work with them to drive this much needed change.”
A full list of winners can be viewed below:
Good Egg Award Winners (12)
• Aldi UK (Retailer, UK)
• CH&CO (Food Service, UK)
• Coraya (Manufacturer/Producer, France)
• Fattoria Roberti (Manufacturer/Producer, Italy)
• Flunch (Food Service, France)
• Fresystem Spa (Manufacturer/Producer, Italy)
• Hippopotamus (Food Service, France)
• Lidl UK (Retailer, UK)
• Marr (Food Service, Italy)
• Noble Foods (Manufacturer/Producer, UK)
• Système U (Retailer, France)
• Taco Bell (Food Service, US)
Good Chicken Award Winners (3)
• Franprix (Retailer, France)
• Norsk Kyllig (Manufacturer/Producer, Norway)
• REMA 1000 Norge AS (Retailer, Norway)
Good Turkey Award Winners (1)
• COOK (Manufacturer/Producer, UK)
Good Calf Award Winners (4)
• Drevon Veaux (Manufacturer/Producer, France)
• Morrisons (Retailer, UK)
• Schiever (Retailer, France)
• Warrendale Wagyu (Manufacturer/Producer, UK)
Good Dairy Commendation Winners (5)
• AJ & RG Barbers Ltd (Manufacturer/Producer, UK)
• Casearia Sant’Anna (Manufacturer/Producer, Italy)
• COOK (Manufacturer/Producer, UK)
• Pensworth (Manufacturer/Producer. UK)
• Philadelphia (Manufacturer/Producer, Germany, Sweden, Austria, France, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Malta, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Iceland, Romania, Ukraine, Hungary)
Good Sow Commendation Winner (1)
• Bastides Selection (Manufacturer/Producer, UK)
Good Rabbit Commendation Winner (1)
• Carrefour (Retailer, France)
Cage Free Award Winner (1)
• Coop UK (Retailer, UK)
The following Chinese Awards have been awarded according to criteria that equate to stars (five stars being the highest achievement).
Good Pig Production Award Winners (6 winners in total)
1. Sunzhao Demonstration farm (Henan Nongduoduo Agro-pastoral Ecological Technology Co., Ltd.) 4*
2. Heilongjiang Jingzhe Forest Food Group Co., Ltd. 3*
3. JiNing DongSan Indigenous DaPulian Pig Breed Farm 3*
4. No. 24 Houma Farm (Muyuan Foods Co., Ltd.) 2*
5. Huaiji Guangdong Wens FoodStuff Group Co., Ltd. FengKai ChangAn Pig Farm (Wens FoodStuff Group Co., Ltd.) 2*
6. Sifanghong (Yuxian) Agro-pastoral Development Co., Ltd. 2*