Pig producers recognised for welfare commitment
Nine pig producers were honoured for their commitment to pig welfare at Compassion in World Farming’s (CIWF) prestigious Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards in London last week, with 15 companies in total scooping Good Pig Awards.
CIWF launched the Good Pig Award category this year in order to recognise the higher-production systems employed by pigmeat producers, manufacturers and retailers who have a policy or five-year commitment to high animal welfare, addressing issues of confinement, lack of ‘manipulable materials’, tail docking, teeth clipping or grinding and surgical castration. In 2011, it instituted the Leadership in Pig Welfare Award in anticipation of launching the pig category award.
Companies who won Good Pig Awards included Blythburgh Free Range Pork, Dalehead (BQP), Dent, Packington Free Range, Anna’s Happy Trotters/LKL Farming, Laverstoke Park Farm, Riverford Organics, the Well Hung Meat Company, and Eversfield Organic. Foodservice operators Pret A Manger, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Crazy Bear Group, and Virgin Trains, as well as retailers Waitrose and Marks & Spencer were also recognised for their commitment to sourcing higher-welfare pigmeat.
A good sow award was also presented to Midland Pig Producers, while Sainsbury’s took the title of Winner of the Leadership and Innovation in Retail 2012, for its research on indoor free-farrowing systems and adapting these for commercial production.
Alastair Butler, a partner at Blythburgh Free Range Pork, said: “The Good Pig Award is the only award in the UK, which recognises the significant animal welfare benefits of extensive pig-rearing systems such as free-range pig production. This is the first year Compassion has run the Good Pig Award and we are delighted to be among the very best in pig farming to be recognised for excellence in animal welfare.”
The Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards, which are now in their sixth year, were held at the Honourable Artillery Company in London and hosted by cook, food writer and broadcaster Valentine Warner. Around 50 companies were recognised across the five categories, including Woodlands Jersey Beef, which won the Calf Commendation. Jamie Oliver was among seven winners of the Good Chicken Award, and was recognised for his work developing a higher-welfare chicken product with Moy Park.
Jamie Oliver said: “I’ve been doing various campaigns about chicken and welfare and I’m as committed as ever with organic and free-range of course, but really what I’m passionate about is raising the bar of standard chicken to a completely different level, that’s affordable, accessible, and that I would feed to my own kids and that’s basically what we’ve done. We’ve worked with Compassion in World Farming, we’ve worked with all of the farmers that we work with at Moy and lifted the bar and I’m really proud of it.”
Director of food business at Compassion in World Farming Steve McIvor said: “The awards are a vital tool that allow us to engage and converse with food companies under the banner of recognition and celebration, which is very successful in helping us forge strong relationships. We would like to congratulate all of our winners for the huge difference they are making to the lives of thousands of farm animals. We need more businesses to follow their excellent example and keep the momentum going across the industry.”
Compassion in World Farming was established in 1967 to campaign against the development of factory farming methods. Today, it works with companies across the supply chain to develop sustainable, high animal-welfare methods, and estimates that its work benefits more than 270m farm animals.