Big business is failing farm animals: Amazon, Walmart, Mars, Papa John’s and many more

February 26 2019

The 2018 Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) report reveals that many of the world’s biggest food and restaurant brands are ignoring animal welfare concerns

The shocking new report finds that farm animal welfare isn’t even on the agenda for some of these huge companies. 

This is totally unacceptable, considering the scale of suffering in factory farms: 

  • 40 billion chickens are subjected to overcrowded factory farms every year 
  • Many will have a space smaller than a piece of paper to live in, in barns crammed with up to 10,000 chickens 
  • They will spend most of their lives sitting or lying in their own waste 
  • Piglets on factory farms have their teeth clipped or ground and tails cut off 
  • Three out of four mother pigs are confined to cages the size of a fridge

Mother pigs in gestation crates

Good farming and farm animal welfare is better for animals, people and the planet. It’s time for these businesses to take responsibility and strive to do better.

BBFAW

This year’s report is the seventh BBFAW edition and is backed by us and Compassion in World Farming. It’s the leading global measure on farm animal welfare, ranking 150 food companies in tiers from 1 (best) to 6 (worst). 

38-day-old broiler chickens on a factory farm

Read the full report here.

Who’s failing? 

US giant Mars and one of Europe’s biggest supermarket chains, E.Leclerc, both rank at the very bottom, with no evidence that farm animal welfare is on the agenda at these companies. 

Amazon, owner of Whole Foods Market, fared only slightly better in tier 5. As did Starbucks, Papa Johns, Subway, Campbell Soup and Hershey. 

There’s more work to be done by other household names, which sit towards the bottom of the ranking.

Chickens crammed on a factory farm

Walmart and Burger King only achieved tier 4 status, while German supermarket chain Aldi and McDonald’s both rank mid-table in tier 3. 

Take a look at our ranking for chicken welfare in the fast food industry here.

Who’s doing better? 

Unilever and Danone both ranked highly in tier 2 by showing that farm animal welfare is integral to their business strategy. 

Also in tier 2 are British supermarket giants Morrisons and Sainsburys, Whitbread, the UK's largest operator of hotels and restaurants, and Greggs, the largest bakery chain in the UK. 

Piglets on a factory farm

British companies dominate tier 1. Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, Cranswick (one of the largest food producers in Britain), and Noble Foods (makers of GU Puds) have all taken the lead on farm animal welfare.

Overall, things are improving 

Since BBFAW launched in 2012, big businesses are starting to do better: 

  • 53% of companies now have explicit board or senior management oversight of farm animal welfare 
  • 71% have published formal improvement objectives for farm animal welfare  
  • Of the 55 food companies that have been continuously included in the Benchmark since 2012, 17 (31%) have moved up one tier, 20 (36%) have moved up two tiers and 8 (15%) have moved up three tiers 

Think twice before buying 

Steve McIvor, our CEO, said: “If you care about animals then you really should think twice about handing your money over to some of these retailers and restaurants. Giants like Burger King and Walmart must take animal welfare much more seriously.

Mother pigs on a high welfare farm

“Food producers, supermarkets and restaurant chains can no longer afford to ignore animal welfare. Consumers now have more information at their fingertips and are showing they increasingly care about the welfare of animals when they are deciding where to shop and eat.”

Fighting for better farming 

Factory farming is the largest source of animal cruelty on earth. 

Learn how we’re striving to end it.  

Tell the world:

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