Last night, (30th October) Compassion celebrated a number of ‘firsts’ at its European Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards in Paris.
The event itself was a first, with the usually separate UK and European events combined into one prestigious affair, but more importantly SPA Food became the very first Polish company to be awarded a Good Chicken Award, a particularly commendable achievement in the Food Service sector, and Monoprix was the first major French retailer to receive a Good Egg Commendation, while Globus was the first German retailer to receive a Good Chicken Award. Among the companies keeping the flag flying for Britain was Jamie Oliver who achieved a hat-trick, earning a Good Chicken Award, a Good Egg Award and a Good Pig Award.
The Retailer Awards also returned this year with Marks & Spencer scooping not one but two accolades being named Best Retailer and Best Performing Retailer; Sainsbury’s was presented with the Best Retailer Marketing Award while Kaufland was awarded the Best Retailer Innovation Award.
In 2013 Compassion has placed a huge focus on Europe with new offices opened in Italy and Poland and the Food Business team determined to expand its programme further into Europe, concentrating on leading European companies. The success of all this work was evident at the ceremony where a whole host of European businesses, many of which have a global presence and won awards for their global operations, were recognised for the first time for their commitment to improving welfare standards, across all sectors of the food industry – food service, manufacture and retail.
Tracey Jones, Director of Food Business at Compassion, said: “It has been an exciting year for Compassion’s Food Business team, working in new areas and expanding our programme further into Europe. The Awards demonstrate the headway we have already made and while there is still a long way to go, it’s great to see such a growing interest in farm animal welfare in an increasing number of countries.”
“The longer the Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards continue, the more I expect to see the ‘ripple’ effect across the food industry, spreading the higher welfare message globally and creating an all important market shift towards higher welfare food.”
In total, 28 awards were presented at the ceremony, hosted by food journalist and presenter of BBC Radio 4’s ‘The Food Programme’ Shelia Dillon.
Shelia said: “I have been impressed by the diversity of the companies that have been awarded and by the range of countries from which they come. From Poland to Germany, France to Italy, Denmark to England it shows that big businesses across Europe are turning in favour of better farm animal welfare. The Awards help to demonstrate that it is possible to show compassion towards the animals we eat, while accepting the realities of the food industry and the need to be commercially viable.”
Tracey concluded: “We have been impressed by the calibre of entries for this year’s awards and have been pleased with the range of companies from across Europe who have been recognised for their work. This is just the tip of the iceberg, however, and we will continue to engage with those companies that are keen to embrace higher animal welfare standards, and realise that this is not just an ethical issue but something that more and more consumers are demanding.”
Over 337 million farm animals are now set to benefit each year as a result of all our Good Farm Animal Welfare Award winners’ policies.