Animal welfare policies in foodservice continue to improve

There has been a “sea-change in attitudes” towards animal welfare amongst food businesses, according to Compassion in World Farming (CIWF).

Consumer demand, pressure from investors and market forces have driven even more commitments on cage-free eggs, CIWF said, as it predicted “the end of the cage age”.

Only a year ago the foodservice sector was being criticised for dragging its feet on animal welfare, with the financial and reputation benefits “passing companies by”.

What a difference a year can make. In the business benchmark on farm animal welfare, announced in February, the sector posted a dramatically improved performance”.

And things have improved since, with half a dozen foodservice companies receiving Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards this month from CIWF.

TGI Fridays was presented with a Good Egg Award for its commitment to only source cage-free eggs for UK restaurants by 2023 (including all shell eggs and egg products directly sourced as ingredients by TGI Fridays UK). Samir Osman, the chain’s technical manager, said investments in animal welfare will increase again this year.

Starbucks also received a Good Egg Award for its commitment to source exclusively cage-free eggs and egg products across Europe by 2020.

Meanwhile, Sodexo Belgium and Elior received awards for their commitments to higher welfare rabbit meat. Ella’s Kitchen’s received a Good Pig Award for its commitment to source only organic pork, whilst French foodservice company Poulehouse was singled out for the “retirement homes” it has introduced for the laying hens used in its supply chain.

There were 59 awards in all, which will “positively impact the lives of over 209 million animals each year”, according to CIWF.

“There has undoubtedly been a sea-change in attitudes to farm animal welfare within the last decade [with] more and more companies are making the move towards to cage-free production,” said Dr Tracey Jones, director of food business at CIWF.

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