Vigeo contributes animal welfare exprtise to the BBFAW consultation
On 15 June 2012, the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) launched a consultation on the criteria that it will use to evaluate the farm animal welfare management practices of approximately 60 listed and non-listed European food businesses later this year. On 24 July 2012, Co-operative Asset Management hosted a meeting in London to review the draft BBFAW criteria and weightings and the proposed benchmarking methodology. Vigeo contributed to the initial consultation phase and were delighted to accept the invitation to contribute further during the draft review phase in order to create a bespoke benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare.
To date, animal welfare is often overlooked by investors as an important sustainability issue which Vigeo closely examines within its own research methodology. The BBFAW and Vigeo’s research approach have a great deal of harmony as both consider that it is valuable to analyse companies’ approach to farm animal welfare, under three angles: Leadership (policies and their relevance, including who is responsible for this policy within the company), Implementation (means in place, their scope and the geographical coverage), and Results (including performance indicators and any stakeholder feedback). Vigeo assesses the topic of farm animal welfare in its standard rating of the Food sector worldwide, analysing whether companies have measures in place to safeguard animal well-being and to respect basic animal rights in line with internationally recognised standards.
Issues under Vigeo’s review include ensuring freedom from hunger and thirst; freedom from discomfort; freedom from pain, injury or disease; and freedom from fear and distress. Vigeo also analyses whether these companies report that they carry out appropriate feeding of animals. In order to develop processes for all of these steps, Vigeo also views awareness raising of farmers on sustainable animal rearing as a valuable tool. Using this analysis, Vigeo Rating has recently published a paper titled ‘Towards Sustainable Animal Rearing : the implications for global food companies’. This provides insight into the concerns of stakeholders, highlights the business risks and opportunities, and presents Vigeo’s 2011 findings of how leading European food companies approach animal welfare and manage the related environmental and social impacts of animal rearing
For more details on the specific topics covered by Vigeo’s analysis, please contact us.
More information bbfaw.com.
ESG, Monde, World