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Leading food companies form Global Coalition for Animal Welfare

Seven leading food companies have joined forces to launch the Global Coalition for Animal Welfare (GCAW) – the world’s first food industry-led initiative aimed at advancing animal welfare globally.

The global platform unites major companies and animal welfare experts in improving animal welfare standards at scale and in meeting consumer demand for food products from animals reared in systems that promote good welfare.

GCAW represents some of the largest names in global food production and food service: Aramark, Compass Group, Elior Group, IKEA Food Services, Nestlé, Sodexo and Unilever. With combined revenues of EUR 139 billion and serving 3.7 billion customers per day, these companies have launched the Global Coalition for Animal Welfare to collectively address systemic barriers to improving animal welfare, accelerate the development of standards and drive progress on key welfare issues.

Today, more than 70 billion land animals are farmed for food annually, and, by 2050, livestock production is expected to double what it was in 2000.

GCAW will advance animal welfare through:

  1. Providing a platform for food companies to work more closely with farm animal welfare experts to identify common objectives and drive improvements;
  2. Prioritising welfare issues and developing roadmaps for industry change while supporting producers in implementing strong animal welfare practices;
  3. Advancing animal welfare knowledge globally through industry insights, bespoke research and partnerships for action.

GCAW members have identified five priority work streams: cage-free policies, improved broiler chicken welfare, farmed fish welfare, antimicrobial resistance, and global standards for transportation and slaughter.

Neil Barrett, Sodexo’s Group Senior Vice President Corporate Responsibility commented: “At Sodexo, we believe that animal welfare is a key component of a sustainable supply chain alongside food safety, food security, nutrition, good environmental practices, and fundamental rights for workers. We have been working on this issue across the company for a number of years and we are now taking our commitment to the next level by collaborating with key players to enhance alignment between stakeholders and use scale to better improve the welfare of farmed animals.”

Working with a group of multi-disciplinary experts from academia, industry and civil society, GCAW aims to publish an agenda for change during 2019.

About Sarah OBeirne

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