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Animal Welfare

We recognise and share the concerns of consumers, governments, investors and civil society organisations about animal welfare, and we appreciate that robust welfare standards can have both a direct and an indirect impact on food safety and quality. We are therefore committed to cooperating with our supply chain partners and other stakeholders to support the long-term economic, environmental and social viability of animal farming systems for the benefit of farmers and rural communities, while ensuring farm animal health and welfare.

At a glance

  • In November 2013, we began to assess dairy farms in our upstream supply chains in Europe, using our newly created Responsible Sourcing Guideline assessment protocol, which includes farm animal welfare;
  • Our Responsible Sourcing Assessment protocol, which we are using to assess animal welfare practices at the farm-level, was developed with the expertise of the World Animal Protection (formerly, the World Society for the Protection of Animals);
  • In March 2014, we became the first major food company to enter into a global partnership with an international animal welfare NGO, World Animal Protection;
  • We will start to implement our Responsible Sourcing requirements on meat, poultry and eggs in our supply chain in early 2014;
  • We will gradually implement these requirements, which are based on our Commitment on Farm Animal Welfare, across our extended global supply chain;
  • We are contributing to the development of an ISO technical specification for farm animal welfare; and
  • We increased our score in the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare from 21% in 2012 to 56% in 2013.

What we’re doing

Next steps

  • We will gradually implement our Responsible Sourcing requirements for meat, poultry, eggs, and also milk and dairy, across our extended global supply chain, focusing on animal welfare at the farm level;
  • We will continue to gradually extend our newly created dairy Responsible Sourcing Guideline assessment protocol across our global supply chain in 2014;
  • We will carefully consider BBFAW’s recommendations with respect to our policies and practices on farm animal welfare in our supply chain; and
  • We will include training programmes on best practices in dairy operations and animal husbandry at our new Dairy Farming Institute in China, which opens in 2014.

Related content

Find out more in our Creating Shared Value full report