In the context of growing stakeholder scrutiny of companies’ animal rearing practices, the European Commission has recently announced its 2012- 2015 EU Animal Welfare Strategy.
In Vigeo’s latest CSR rating of the European food sector, we found good practices in terms of leadership and implementation. The majority of companies that sell animal-based products disclosed a commitment to promote local social and economic development and half reported some means to address the environmental or animal wellbeing concerns related to animal farming. However, companies involved in animal rearing did not appear to be proactive in addressing all stakeholderâ€™s concerns. For instance, despite the general commitments none appeared to have identified or implemented measures to avoid the potentially negative community impacts linked to animal rearing. As stakeholders increasingly scrutinize these issues, investors are also considering whether food companies are adequately handling business risks or optimizing opportunities.
Vigeo’s third Sustainability Focus thus presents the topic of “Sustainable Animal Rearing” in order to provide insight into the concerns of stakeholders and the related business risks and opportunities.