This article is written by Dan McGlynn:
Sustainability & animal welfare – the power of transparency, technology & collaboration – so call me blockchain, maybe?
Farm Animal Welfare – it’s now seen as a strategic opportunity by many global companies.
I was fortunate enough to attend the launch of the 6th BBFAW report evaluating the performance of 110 large food institutions. The headline was ‘good progress but still a long way to go’.
Thank you to Nicky Amos for inviting me, one of the best events I have ever attended.
The venue was the London Stock Exchange – strange setting you may possibly think? Not so, it became very evident when David Harris, Head of sustainable investment at FTSE Russell opened the event by talking about how investors are closely linking sustainability and animal welfare metrics with share performance and valuation.
All business should take note – as the consumer becomes more aware and demands greater transparency on the goods that they are buying, companies that are transparent with their performance in dealing with ethical, sustainability and animal welfare issues will outperform those that are not.
Steve McIvor – chief executive of World Animal Protection made some great comments : ‘Consumers are showing that they increasingly care about the welfare of animals when they are deciding where to eat’.
The Foodservice industry still has ‘a lot more work to do’ providing transparency of animal welfare in their supply chains according to the new report. Despite making some progress (JD Wetherspoons rose 3 places) in the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare, pub & restaurant chains lag behind retailers and manufacturers and still need to make improvements.
No hospitality company achieved the ‘tier one’ status in the ranking but McDonald’s & our very own Greggs placed towards the top of tier two after making farm animal welfare a part of their business strategies.
The likes of KFC, Pizza Hut and Starbucks managed tier five, defined as showing limited evidence of implementation, while Subway and Burger King both ranked in tier four, and were defined as making progress. Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and The Co-operative Group all achieved tier one ranking.
The stats are staggering. Globally, 50 billion chickens are slaughtered every year (that’s 7500 every 10 seconds) – a large proportion of those live in unacceptable conditions. A lot of work is being done with the emerging markets of countries such as China, Brazil and Thailand.
Did you know that the largest dairy industry in the world is in India? China produces 700 million pigs per year – the UK produces 10 million. Big numbers, lots of animals.
The report scores companies on 4 areas:
· Management policy & commitment
· Governance & management
· Leadership & innovation
· Performance reporting & impact – increasingly becoming more important
Similar to the Modern Slavery act 2015, it’s not good enough just to have a policy in place. The company needs to have the commitments as part of their culture and strategy and more importantly, measure and report on their performance.
Only 11% of companies report on animal welfare outcomes – that’s 12 out of 110 global businesses. The answer is data and technology.
Can blockchain fill this void? Possibly. There are more and more commentators on this subject, very few are experts and it’s unproven in food. Watch this space and I aim to provide more insight on this subject soon.
There is existing technology that maps supply chains and is able to harvest sustainability & animal welfare KPIs from any part of that chain – look at my linked in profile and you will find out who they are!
Transparency will be king – do not underestimate the power of transparency. Technology will be the vehicle for this much need transparency.
If any of the above has resonated and you would like to discuss this subject further, lets connect and get in touch. I am heading up a project to drive collaboration in the foodservice industry focusing on compliance, ethical and animal welfare performance. All fingers point towards integrity.
Don’t get me started on integrity (doing the right thing even when nobody is looking). That subject is for another day.
I also love feedback – good, bad and ugly, it’s how we all grow so please let me know your thoughts.
Have a great day
Original posted here: