UK businesses excel at Compassion in World Farming’s Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards

Compassion in World Farming celebrated the commitment of leading food businesses to improve animal welfare standards at their Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards held at the Milan Expo on 9 June, hosted by chef, writer and broadcaster, Allegra McEvedy MBE.

compassion awards

In total, 41 awards were presented across a range of categories

Compassion in World Farming celebrated the commitment of leading food businesses to improve animal welfare standards at their Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards held at the Milan Expo on 9 June, hosted by chef, writer and broadcaster, Allegra McEvedy MBE.

The ceremony was kindly supported by the European Commission with Andrea Gavinelli (Head of Animal Welfare Unit, EC) making a speech praising the work of Compassion and the award winners.

In total, 41 awards were presented across a range of categories: the Retailer Awards, the Good Egg Award, the Good Chicken Award, the Good Dairy Award, the Good Pig Award and new for 2015 the Good Rabbit Award with almost 15 million farm animals set to benefit each year from the winners’ higher welfare policies. Of the 41 awards, 10 were awarded to UK businesses across all sectors including farming enterprises and household names such as Waitrose, McDonald’s, Whole Foods Market and the Jamie Oliver Group.

good farm animal welfare awards

Compassion in World Farming celebrated the commitment of leading food businesses to improve animal welfare standards at their Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards

Dingley Dell Pork is a 3rd generation pig farm in the UK. Historically, pigs were kept inside but on coming home to the business 23 years ago, brothers Mark and Paul embarked on the family’s first outdoor production site a policy which earned them the Good Pig Award. The incentive to start the outdoor production was not just about animal welfare but also the opportunity to respond to 10 years of low pork prices by securing a stronger position in the supply chain and creating the higher welfare Dingley brand. Dingley supply food service, retail and catering butchers, local hotels and restaurants. By having slaughter, processing and manufacturing partners Dingley Dell are able to supply a range of fresh pork and cured products to top chefs and food businesses in the UK, Channel Islands, Belgium, Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai.

UK based Denhay Farms Ltd was established in 1952 in the West Country. One of their brands – ‘Denhay’ – produces dry cured bacon and gammon using only pork from outdoor bred British herds that are RSPCA Freedom Food accredited. Denhay can be found in Sainsbury’s and Waitrose stores and online at Ocado. The Denhay brand receives a Good Pig Award for its higher welfare policies.

The final UK Farming award winner was Blade Farming, part of the ABP Food Group, one of Europe’s leading food processors that process approximately 1 million cattle a year. Blade Farming is unique in the UK and they have pioneered the only truly integrated beef supply chain. With numbers in excess of 20,000 head of cattle in operation, they are one of the largest beef farming operations in the UK, with the demand for beef produced through the Blade operation increasing year on year. Blade Farming received a Good Calf Commendation for ensuring that their calf rearing operations are higher welfare.

Popular retail chain Waitrose picked up the Best Retailer Award 2015 for achieving the highest overall score in Compassion’s confidential Supermarket Survey. The British supermarket chain is the UK’s largest employee-owned retailer with over 320 stores across the country. Waitrose achieved outstanding scores on farm animal welfare covering pigs, dairy cows and calves, laying hens and broilers as well as their general overall approach to farm animal welfare looking at research, communication and policy. Their constant aspiration to be the best and to do what is right for animals and for their customers makes them true leaders in Europe and they justly deserve the title of Best Retailer.

Whole Foods Market UK was given a Good Chicken Award this year for their decision to sell only free range chicken from birds that are slower growing, can roam outside and have more space inside the sheds, for their UK stores. In the UK, Whole Foods Market has also committed to sell only free range pork in its nine UK stores and for this it was awarded a Good Pig Award at this year’s ceremony.

McDonald’s is the world’s largest chain of quick service restaurants. The company is committed to improving animal welfare in all regions and has further benefitted the lives of laying hens, in the UK by switching to free range egg ingredient. In 2008 McDonald’s launched its Range Enrichment programme to increase laying hens’ use of the range by planting trees to provide canopy cover. All producers were initially required to plant 5% tree cover and in 2014 this was increased to 20%.

Restaurant business the Jamie Oliver Group has operations globally, including Brazil, Canada and Australia and includes Jamie’s Italian, Barbecoa – the barbecue chain, and Recipease – the cooking school, to name a few. Jamie Oliver himself continues to be a positive force for change on a global level as a chef, campaigner and ambassador. Last year Jamie gave his endorsement to the Milan Protocol which helps raise awareness about the urgency of taking action to tackle the challenges involved in making the global food system truly sustainable. He has also recently set up a global campaign called ‘Food Revolution Day’ to put compulsory practical food education on the school curriculum. The Jamie Oliver Group has previously been recognised with a Good Egg, Good Chicken and Good Pig Award, and now receive a Good Dairy Award for committing to source all the milk for its UK restaurants from systems that meet the Good Dairy Award criteria. This includes pasture access and active health plans for dairy cows, and group housing, bedding and a good diet for calves.

Finally two UK food brands were presented with awards. Unilever received a Special Recognition Award for their largest brand, Knorr. The brand is passionate about bringing quality from ‘farm to fork’ and has ambitious commitments to source 100% of its raw agricultural materials sustainably by 2020, as part of Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan. With progress in sustainably sourced vegetables, herbs and spices well underway, Knorr is now taking a leadership role in the area of animal welfare. This Special Recognition Award commends the determination, leadership and clear commitment that Knorr have made in starting a challenging journey to improve animal welfare on such a large global scale.

Aunt Bessie’s is one of the fastest growing food brands in the UK, with a focus on sustainable sourcing. As well as its famous Yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes, the range also includes a growing selection of family favourites, from tasty, traditional stuffing and dumplings, to seasonal vegetables and home-style desserts. Aunt Bessie’s were a 2014 winner for a commitment to using cage free eggs in all their products and formally received a Good Egg Award at this year’s Award’s ceremony.

Tracey Jones, Director of Food Business at Compassion in World Farming said: “Every year I am so impressed by the commitment and drive of our Award winners to make genuine improvements to the lives of millions of farm animals. However, it also serves to remind me that there is still a huge amount of work to be done before a true market shift towards higher welfare food takes place. I’m confident the higher welfare message is spreading globally as more and more businesses realise that there is not just an ethical imperative to address farm animal welfare but a commercial one too.”

Full Award Winners List:

Good Egg Award winners

Aunt Bessie’s (Manufacturer – UK – 2014 Award winner)
BIO vom BERG (Manufacturer – Austria)
Colruyt (Retailer – Belgium)
Colruyt (Retailer – France)
Coop (Retailer – Sweden)
Ferrero (Manufacturer – Italy)
Garrets (Food Service – Europe)
Groupe Schiever – ATAC, Bi1, Maximarché (Retailer – France)
Irma (Retailer – Denmark)
Kaufland (Retailer – Germany)
KLM (Food Service – Netherlands)
Kvickley (Retailer – Denmark)
McDonald’s (Food Service – United Kingdom)
McDonald’s (Food Service – Netherlands)
Migros (Retailer – Switzerland)
Qizini (Manufacturer – Netherlands)
Pret A Manger (Food Service – US)
Real (Retailer – Germany)
St Michel (Manufacturer – France)
Whole Foods Market (Retailer – US)

Good Chicken Award winners

Qizini (Manufacturer – Netherlands)
Gran Selezione Pollo dal Piemonte (Manufacturer – Italy)
Whole Foods Market (Retailer – UK)
WIESENHOF Privathof-Geflügel (Manufacturer – Germany)

Good Dairy Award winner

Jamie Oliver Group (Food Service – UK)

Good Dairy Commendation winner

McDonald’s (Food Service – France)

Good Calf Commendation winner

Blade Farming (Manufacturer – UK)

Good Pig Award winners

Denhay (Manufacturer – UK)
Dingley Dell (Manufacturer – UK)
Whole Foods Market (Retailer – UK)

Good Sow Commendation winners

Fumagalli (Manufacturer – Italy)
Whole Foods Market (Retailer – US)

Good Rabbit Award winner

BreFood (Manufacturer – Germany)

Good Rabbit Commendation winners

Colruyt (Retailer – Belgium)
Kaufland (Retailer – Germany)
Real (Retailer – Germany)
Terrena (Manufacturer – France)

Best Retailer Award winner

Waitrose (Retailer – UK)

Best Retailer Innovation Award winner

Coop (Retailer – Switzerland)

Best Retailer Marketing Award winner

Colruyt (Retailer – Belgium)

Special Recognition Award

Knorr (Manufacturer – UK)

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