The welfare of farm animals within our global supply chain is important to us and is a key element of our Responsible Sourcing strategy
We are committed to continuously improving our performance to deliver enhanced and harmonised animal welfare standards through our global supply chain. This strategy is supported by ongoing efforts to increase the visibility of our complex supply chain and we equip our procurement teams with engaging eLearning tools to help them better understand associated risks and, as a result, make more informed sourcing decisions.
In 2019 we made the commitment to further improve the lives of millions of broiler chickens across Europe. By 2026, Compass Group has committed to meet the European Chicken Commitment (ECC) for 100% of the chicken meat it sources for Europe.
We have been assessed annually by the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) since its inception in 2012. In 2019, we are pleased to have maintained our Tier 3 ranking.
We continue to work with our suppliers and partner organisations across the globe such as Compassion in World Farming, Humane Society International and The Humane League to further research and develop our animal welfare standards.
Recognising that improving farm animal welfare standards is increasingly a collective issue for our industry, last year we took the decision to become a founding member of the Global Coalition for Animal Welfare (GCAW) in October 2018. GCAW is the world’s first industry-led initiative aimed at advancing animal welfare globally. We work with the other six major companies that make up GCAW to improve animal welfare standards at scale and to meet consumer demand for food products from animals reared in systems that promote good welfare.
In 2016, our industry leading position on animal welfare issues was recognised by our inclusion in Fortune’s Change the World list of 50 companies that have had a positive social impact through activities that are part of their core business strategy. This coincided with our commitment to source 100% cage free eggs globally by 2025.
Our US business picked up a further two awards in the same year with a 2016 CiWF Good Egg Award and a 2016 Henry Spira Award for Humane Corporate Progress to mark their commitment to cage free eggs.
In 2017 we collected a second Henry Spira Award for our commitment to broiler welfare standards as our US business became the first food service company to commit to 100% healthier, slower growing chicken by 2024 through a landmark Global Animal Partnership (GAP) agreement. This will result in improving the lives of around 60 million broiler chickens per year in the US.
We serve 55,000 client locations and work in partnership with both clients and consumers to promote responsible sourcing practices. We are increasingly offering vegetarian/vegan options and plant-based protein as alternatives to animal protein. For example, in our UK & Ireland business, we are working with Humane Society International to support our chefs on ‘Veg Centric’ menu development, whilst in our US business, we run initiatives such as ‘Menus of Change’ to promote principles of healthy, sustainable menus.
In 2018, we refreshed our sustainability strategy which comprises three strategic priorities: Health & Wellbeing; Environmental Game Changers; and Better for the World, which includes Sourcing Responsibly. To shape policy and further drive performance and reporting across our global business, our Animal Welfare Steering Group is now headed up by Federico Tonetti, Group Safety and Sustainability Director, a member of our Group Executive Committee.
The steering group reports annually on global farm animal welfare performance and corresponding outcomes.
To oversee management and compliance with farm animal welfare standards across our global supply chain, we have nominated our Global Head of Food Safety & Responsible Sourcing as Group Farm Animal Welfare Officer.
Through the roll-out of a training programme in animal welfare for our commercial teams and the planned communication of an enhanced Supplier Code, we aim to further raise awareness and compliance with our global sourcing standards. Agreement with this Code forms part of our purchasing terms and conditions for supply.
In addition to the various third-party animal welfare certification schemes that we source products against, we are looking to develop our monitoring processes by introducing targeted, risk-based compliance audits on our animal welfare standards over the next six months.
Where non-compliances are identified through either audit or ‘Speak-Up’ (our Group-wide programme which enables suppliers to confidentially raise concerns over unethical or inhumane actions or behaviour), they will be fully investigated and where possible remedied. Repeat breaches or those that cannot be remedied will result in the immediate termination of the relevant supplier.
We have recently engaged with a global technology partner, to support our progress in raising standards of farm animal welfare practices across the industry through the implementation of innovative product origin testing technology. Designed to verify geographical origin and ultimately the authenticity of other attributes such as the higher-welfare standards of the products we source, this technology will provide improved visibility of our supply chain.