TORONTO, Feb. 27, 2019 /CNW/ - Walmart and Restaurant Brands International (which includes Tim Hortons and Burger King), along with other major companies, including four new additions from Canada, such as Maple Leaf Foods and Couche-Tard, all have work to do when it comes to animal welfare as indicated in a global report launched this week.
The shocking report finds that farm animal welfare is seemingly not on the agenda for some of these well-known and trusted companies.
The seventh Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW), backed by World Animal Protection and Compassion in World Farming, is the leading global measure on farm animal welfare. It ranks 150 global food companies on farm animal welfare policy and reporting across six Tiers, with Tier 1 demonstrating leadership on farm animal welfare and Tier 6 indicating little or no evidence of companies acknowledging farm animal welfare as a relevant business issue.
The Benchmark shows that there is more work to be done by major household names, which sit towards the bottom of the ranking. Walmart was placed in Tier 4 – a poor result for the world's largest food retailer. Last year the company appeared in Tier 3.
The report found that Walmart has work to do to effectively implement farm animal welfare across its global operations. The assessment highlighted that Walmart has adopted only a partial position to addressing the cruelest farming practices, such as the caging of farm animals, routine painful mutilations, inhumane slaughter and long-distance transport of live animals with many of its policies limited to its operations in the US, Canada and/or the UK. This means that consumers have no way of knowing what actions Walmart is taking to ensure the welfare of farm animals across its global supply chain.
Lynn Kavanagh, Campaign Manager for World Animal Protection Canada, says: "Walmart needs to raise the bar and take animal welfare more seriously. They have the power to be a leader in animal welfare globally. World Animal Protection is calling on Walmart to improve the lives of pigs around the world starting with ending the caging of pregnant pigs in their supply chain."
In Canada, Walmart committed to do this by 2022 as part of a Retail Council of Canada commitment. Competitors, Sobeys and Loblaw, have publicly reiterated this commitment, but Walmart has yet to do so.
A recent poll conducted by World Animal Protection showed 92% of Canadians believe it is important that pigs are reared in conditions with high welfare standards and 75% found imagery of pig farming upsetting, wrong or shocking.
Other companies assessed in the BBFAW report include Restaurant Brands International (owners of Tim Hortons and Burger King) which also achieved only Tier 4 status. McDonald's ranks mid-table in Tier 3 and have established animal welfare policies but there is more work to be done to effectively implement its policies across its operations.
Amazon, the world's biggest company and owner of Whole Foods Market, fared even worse and achieved a Tier 5 status as did Starbucks, Papa John's and Subway. For these companies, farm animal welfare is on the business agenda but there is limited evidence of implementation.
Companies were assessed on their approach to managing farm animal welfare in four areas: (1) Management Commitment and Policy, (2) Governance and Policy Implementation, (3) Leadership and Innovation, and (4) Performance Reporting and Impact.
Kavanagh continues, "Food producers, supermarkets and restaurant chains in Canada and around the world can no longer afford to dismiss animal welfare. Many Canadians do care about animals and want to know how their food is produced and that animals are at the very least treated humanely."
About World Animal Protection:
World Animal Protection, formerly known as the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), is active in more than 50 countries. From our offices around the world, we work with businesses, governments, local partners and animal welfare organizations to find practical ways to prevent animal suffering worldwide. www.worldanimalprotection.ca
World Animal Protection's "Raise Pigs Right" campaign is calling for all supermarkets to:
- Phase out cages for pregnant pigs and replace with enriched group housing by 2028
- Phase in provision of provision of manipulatable materials materials, to allow for expression of natural behavior for all pigs
- Phase out painful mutilations by 2028
- Phase out cages for pigs when giving birth and lactating by 2035
About the poll:
Between October 2017 and March 2018 World Animal Protection conducted global research to better understand the pork consumption habits of global consumers; their understanding of the conditions pigs are raised in around the world; what their attitudes towards pig welfare is and if they would change their consumption habits. Four studies were conducted across eleven countries and five continents, primarily with Voodoo Research (now renamed Flood), canvassing the opinion of over nine thousand people globally. World Animal Protection released the results of the global polling on the launch of their Raise Pigs Right campaign in April 2018, to demonstrate a growing movement of people concerned about the welfare of pigs on factory farms around the world and willing to do something about it.
Notes to Editors:
- The Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) is the globally recognized investor framework for assessing the quality of companies' practices, processes and performance on farm animal welfare.
- The Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare, founded in 2012, is supported by its founding partners the leading animal welfare organizations, Compassion in World Farming and World Animal Protection.
- BBFAW provides an annual, independent assessment of farm animal welfare management and performance in global food companies. It enables investors, companies, NGOs and other stakeholders to understand corporate practice and performance on farm animal welfare. More information on the program can be found at www.bbfaw.com
- Through the annual benchmark, extensive engagement program with investors and with companies, and the production of guidance and other materials for companies and investors, BBFAW has driven higher farm animal welfare standards across the world's leading food businesses.
- The 2018 Benchmark covers 150 companies across 23 countries. The companies represent three primary food business sectors: (a) food retailers and wholesalers; (b) restaurants and bars (a category that includes many of the food service providers), and (c) food producers and manufacturers. The list includes listed and non-listed companies.
- In line with the BBFAW's objective to drive improvements in the welfare of animals farmed for food, the weighting of the performance reporting and impact questions in the 2018 Benchmark was increased to 35% of the total score (up from 24% in 2017).
- Company assessments were based on information published by companies on the date of their assessments. All companies were assessed during the period from 1st August to 30 September 2018.
- In the 2018 Benchmark, 12 companies have dropped one tier. Including: Ahold Delhaize, Danish Crown, General Mills, McDonald's, Subway, Sysco Corp and Walmart.
SOURCE World Animal Protection
For further information: For media interviews, images or video clips, please contact: Nina Devries, Media Manager for World Animal Protection at 416-369-0044 ext. 100, [email protected]