TheBeefSite.com - news, features, articles and disease information for the beef industry

News

Compassion in World Farming announces the winners for the Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards

25 June 2020

The prestigious annual Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards ceremony hosted by Compassion in World Farming should have taken place on 16 June at the Tower of London, but, like so many other events it was a casualty of COVID-19 and was cancelled.

Compassion, however, are still keen to recognise those companies committing to higher welfare production and sourcing, through its awards programme. This year, 34 awards were given across the UK, EU, China and the US, set to benefit the lives of 28 million animals each year. This takes the overall impact of Compassion’s Food Business programme to date, through awards, partnership projects and corporate pledges, to over 2 billion animals set to benefit annually.

Dr Tracey Jones, Director of Food Business said: “Despite these challenging times it has been truly heartening to see companies move forwards with their commitments to animal welfare. Although many businesses have been closed, and for some these are incredibly uncertain times, it is encouraging to see that farm animal welfare is still central to business plans for our future food.”

This year there were 12 Good Egg Awards, three Good Chicken Awards, one Good Turkey Award, four Good Calf Awards, five Good Dairy Commendations, one Good Sow Commendation, one Good Rabbit Commendation, six Good Pig Production Awards in China and one Cage Free Award presented to Coop UK.

In terms of sector breakdown there were nine retailers recognised for their work, five food service companies and 20 producers or manufacturers (including the six Chinese Good Pig Production Award winners).

A Good Calf Award was presented to Morrisons in recognition of the work they have done as a joint venture partnership with Arla Foods and Buitelaar through their own meat contracting and processing business, Woodhead Brothers. Their new higher welfare integrated dairy beef scheme has the potential to benefit around 2,000 calves per year and is seriously influencing the supply chain through two likeminded producers. The aim is that by 2025 all Morrisons dairy beef will be sourced as part of this scheme.

Sophie Throup, Head of Agriculture, Fisheries and Sustainable Sourcing at Morrisons said: “At Morrisons, our customers tell us time and again how important animal welfare is to them. We therefore continue to develop, innovate, measure and monitor animal welfare standards, and to work closely with the farmers and suppliers we buy directly from. We are pleased to receive the Good Calf Award in recognition of the efforts we are making now, and in the future, to ensure farm animals are well looked after at every stage of their lives.”

In 2020, COOK, manufacturer of luxury frozen ready meals, has been awarded two new accolades: Good Turkey Award (up to 10,000 turkeys are estimated to benefit from this award per annum) and a Good Dairy Commendation. These latest awards add to a bulging trophy cabinet already boasting a Good Egg Award (2011), Good Pig Award (2016) and Good Chicken Award (2017).

COOK believes that it is the responsible and right thing to do to engage more closely with its direct suppliers and farmers, who they know and trust, to enhance and encourage good practice on farms. The business continually looks for ways to improve the welfare of farm animals involved in its supply chain, and actively promotes their welfare credentials, not just for the benefit of the animals but because they see the positive impact of their awards convert into additional sales. COOK provides an excellent example of a luxury high street ready meal range bucking the trend to show that higher welfare can equal commercial success.

Mondelez International received a Good Dairy Commendation in 2013 for their iconic Philadelphia brand for improving dairy cow welfare across five European countries. In 2020 they have been awarded another Good Dairy Commendation for having expanded this higher welfare policy across a further 15 countries with 66 percent more dairy cows benefitting from their work. This achievement was pursued in partnership with their supplier and by collaborating with the German Dairy Standard, QM-Milk.

Philadelphia is a brand that not only cares about animal welfare but seizes the opportunity to bring consumers on the journey with them. After its 2013 Award, Philadelphia embarked on an all-encompassing marketing campaign to promote the higher welfare credentials of its famous cheese, demonstrating the value of higher welfare in enhancing the brand’s drive for consumer loyalty.

Valerie Thill, Marketing Director Philadelphia for Mondelez Europe said: “We recognise the link between animal welfare and the health of animals raised for food. To secure high-quality milk and dairy products, we have always put good farm practices and animal welfare at the heart of our continuously improving process.
We guarantee the unanimously loved taste of Philadelphia is made from fresh milk from farms we know and trust, of close working relationships with our milk suppliers and from happy and healthy cows in higher welfare systems that also respect the environment. We are proud to be recognised by Compassion in World Farming for our efforts to source even more milk from farms with best welfare conditions.”

Another recipient of a Good Dairy Commendation was award winning family cheese and butter making business, AJ & RG Barber Ltd. Using milk from their own farms and from an additional 140 dedicated and trusted dairy farms in Somerset and Dorset, they create top quality cheese using milk from cows that have access to lush pasture for an average of 200 days a year. This award underlines the fact that smaller-scale, traditional dairy farming can produce higher welfare cheese.

Charlie Barber, Director at Barber’s said: “We are delighted to have won a Good Dairy Commendation Award. At Barber’s we are committed to improving animal welfare standards and work collaboratively with our farmers and their vets to encourage improving health and welfare achievements on the farm. With this award we hope to strengthen our health and welfare credentials and appreciate just how important this approach is with customers and farmers alike."

Another Good Dairy Commendation recipient this year was one of the UK’s leading milk and dairy suppliers, Pensworth. They are taking steps to ensure that all their cows have pasture access and are delivering good welfare through farmer incentives.

Yorkshire based Warrendale Wagyu has introduced specialised Wagyu genetics in around 80 dairy farms to produce a high value Wagyu cross which they rear in higher welfare systems through specialist calf rearers. As they own the calves and have excellent links with the dairy farms, they are able to ensure all the calves reared for their Wagyu Beef are given adequate colostrum, have short transport times and are moving to paired housing. In recognition of this work they received a Good Calf Award.

For over 20 years, Casearia Sant'Anna has been producing Parmigiano Reggiano according to organic regulations. In 2018, in collaboration with the University of Parma and the Reggio Emilia Animal Production Research Centre, Casearia Sant'Anna worked on defining the OltreBio standard for their Parmesan cheese, which goes beyond basic organic requirements. Compassion wanted to recognise this unique production process which uses milk from cows that are guaranteed pasture access – a rarity in Italy. As a result, Casearia Sant'Anna is the first Italian company to receive a Good Dairy Commendation.

Giulio Ghiaroni, Managing Partner of Casearia Sant'Anna said: “We are proud to have received this recognition which represents values that we have long embraced. We strongly believe that the relationship between the quality of a cheese governed by a D.o.P, a 900 year old tradition such as Parmigiano-Reggiano and the health of the dairy cows is essential. Animal welfare for Bio Sant’Anna does not represent a goal but a constant commitment and a reality that we experience on our farms every day.”

Finally, France based Drevon Veaux has been awarded a Good Calf Award for their higher welfare veal. They are a family-run business working with 100 farmers in the Rhônes-Alpes region, selling locally sourced, GMO-free products which care for animal welfare. All their dairy farms and finishing units have committed to working to a specific set of higher welfare standards and their regional supply chain allows for short distance travel times for all their calves.

Tracey Jones concludes: “It’s fantastic to see that there is still an appetite to improve the welfare of farm animals amongst key food industry players, despite the difficulties COVID-19 has thrown at them, and I wholeheartedly congratulate them all.

“Farm animal welfare is not just for the good times or the niche products - every animal reared for food deserves a good quality of life. As we emerge from this pandemic there is much to learn, none more so than how we balance the relationship between the food we eat, its impact on the environment, natural resources and rich biodiversity of our fragile planet, and the health and livelihoods of its people. Never in our history has it been so urgent to build a more resilient sustainable food system with animal welfare at its heart. Our corporate partners are on that journey and we will continue to work with them to drive this much needed change.”

Full list of winners


Good Egg Award Winners

Good Chicken Award Winners

Good Turkey Award Winners

  • COOK (Manufacturer/Producer, UK)

Good Calf Award Winners

  • Drevon Veaux (Manufacturer/Producer, France)
  • Morrisons (Retailer, UK)
  • Schiever (Retailer, France)
  • Warrendale Wagyu (Manufacturer/Producer, UK)

Good Dairy Commendation Winners 

  • AJ & RG Barbers Ltd (Manufacturer/Producer, UK)
  • Casearia Sant’Anna (Manufacturer/Producer, Italy)
  • COOK (Manufacturer/Producer, UK)
  • Pensworth (Manufacturer/Producer. UK)
  • Philadelphia (Manufacturer/Producer, Germany, Sweden, Austria, France, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Malta, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Iceland, Romania, Ukraine, Hungary)

Good Sow Commendation Winner

Good Rabbit Commendation Winner

Cage Free Award Winner

Chinese Awards

These are awarded according to criteria that equate to stars, five stars being the highest achievement

Good Pig Production Award Winners

  1. Sunzhao Demonstration farm (Henan Nongduoduo Agro-pastoral Ecological Technology Co., Ltd.) 4 stars
  2. Heilongjiang Jingzhe Forest Food Group Co., Ltd. 3 stars
  3. JiNing DongSan Indigenous DaPulian Pig Breed Farm. 3 stars
  4. No. 24 Houma Farm (Muyuan Foods Co., Ltd.) 2 stars
  5. Huaiji Guangdong Wens FoodStuff Group Co., Ltd. FengKai ChangAn Pig Farm (Wens FoodStuff Group Co., Ltd.) 2 stars
  6. Sifanghong (Yuxian) Agro-pastoral Development Co., Ltd. 2 stars


Partners


Seasonal Picks

Animal Welfare Science, Husbandry and Ethics: The Evolving Story of Our Relationship with Farm Animals