Industry celebrates high-welfare committment

Waitrose has been named the most compassionate supermarket for the second year in a row at the Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards, organised by Compassion in World Farming (CIWF).

Hundreds of members of the food industry gathered for the prestigious awards at Freemason’s Hall in Covent Garden last night, to celebrate the industry’s continued commitment to improving animal welfare, ethical farming and developing sustainable supply chains.

Nearly fifty awards were given to some of the biggest brands in the food industry and spanned across four different categories. The awards comprised the Good Supermarket Awards, the Good Dairy Award (including a Good Calf Commendation), the Good Chicken Awards and the Good Egg Award. CIWF also commended pig producers as it announced that the Good Pig Awards will be added to the scheme next year.

Sainsbury’s took the title for best volume supermarket for the third consecutive year, while the Co-operative was recognised as the most improved supermarket.

Duncan Sinclair, Waitrose agriculture manager, said: “A belief in the very highest standards of animal welfare is right at the heart of the way we do business. Our customers always expect us to treat animals fairly, and with respect at all times, so we make enormous effort to make sure this trust is well placed.”

Sainsbury’s group commercial Director Mike Coupe said: “Sainsbury’s values make us stand out from other supermarkets so it’s excellent to get recognition for this and for our continued efforts as a responsible, ethical and sustainable retailer.”

Winners of the Good Chicken Award included Lake House Table, the National Trust, Packington Poultry, The Black Farmer, and Traditional Norfolk Poultry.

One of the new categories introduced as part of the dairy award was the Good Calf Commendation, which recognises the work being done to develop a sustainable, high-welfare veal industry and its role in solving the problem of under-utilisation of unwanted dairy calves. The winners were Brookfield Farm, Dovecote Park Ltd and Sainsbury’s.

David Tory, producer for Brookfield Farm said: “Winning this award is something we are immensely proud of and is testament to the level of work and investment behind our high-welfare calf rearing operation. We have been able to fulfil our vision of creating a sustainable system with animal welfare at the core and to have received recognition from CIWF is very important to us and is invaluable in helping our model to grow and expand.” 

The charity also announced that it will extend the scheme to include the Good Pig Award next year and recognised producers who are leading the way in terms of better pig welfare. Bishop Burton College, Braemer Farm, Brydock Farms, Dent Ltd, Laverstoke Park Farm and Packington Pork were commended for their stance on castration and keeping pigs’ tails and teeth intact.

Robert Mercer of Packington Free Range said: “We are very proud to have been presented with this award. We have, for many years, strived to farm in such a way so that the animal’s welfare and the environment around them come first, whilst still being able to achieve good performance results. We are incredibly proud of our animals and the way in which we farm them, and are thrilled that this has been acknowledged. This award will help to demonstrate to our customers that we really are at the forefront in pig and poultry welfare and as such having an award from CIWF behind us, only strengthens this case.”

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.


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