Research:  Meat Lovers Concerned How Animals Are Raised on Farms

Nairobi: Food companies can no longer ignore farm animal welfare in their supply chain. According to the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) Report launched today, consumers are increasingly taking into consideration how animals are raised when deciding where to eat.

Dr Victor Yamo, Humane & Sustainable Agriculture Campaigns Manager, World Animal Protection, said:

“Farm animal welfare is riding high on the consumer agenda hence poor animal welfare along the supply chain of leading fast food restaurants cannot be ignored. We expect higher standards of living for farm animals that ensure the animals have a good life, free from pain, fear, boredom and frustration from these companies. “

“Over 50 food companies, including international brands operating here in Kenya such as Dominos, Subway, Burger King and Carrefour have committed to making meaningful improvements to the lives of chickens.”

This is the sixth Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) report. It describes how global food companies are managing and reporting on farm animal welfare, assesses the progress that has been made since the first Benchmark report, analyses the factors that are driving improvements in corporate practice and performance and reflects on the obstacles to further progress on farm animal welfare.

The report covers 110 companies representing three primary food business sectors:

  1. Food retailers and wholesalers
  2. Restaurants and bars, and
  3. Food producers and manufacturers

It shows that many of the 110 global food companies covered by the Benchmark are integrating farm animal welfare into their management and reporting processes.

  • 47% of these companies now have an explicit board or senior management oversight of farm animal welfare.
  • 72% have published formal improvement objectives for farm animal welfare.
  • 87 companies (79%) have made commitments to the avoidance of close confinement in one or more of the major markets in which they operate. The most common corporate commitments relate to the elimination of cages for laying hens and the elimination of sow stalls.

The Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare also shows that there is more work to be done by other household names, which sit towards the bottom of the ranking. Brands such as KFC (in tier 5) show limited evidence that animal welfare is a key issue for their business.

Dr Victor Yamo continues:

With more markets opening up across Africa, there will more stringent measures for trade in meats and producers need to be prepared. Our aim with this report is to encourage better disclosure of companies’ farm animal welfare standards especially by both international and local food companies operating in Kenya.”

“We hope to see these food companies responding to consumer demands by working together and in collaboration with other key stakeholders like the government to improve standards for farm animal welfare.”