Over 85,000 Pigs to Benefit from Welfare Awards

ITALY - Compassion in World Farming has celebrated the commitment of leading food businesses to improve animal welfare standards at their Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards held at the Milan Expo on 9 June, hosted by chef, writer and broadcaster, Allegra McEvedy MBE.
calendar icon 11 June 2015
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The ceremony was kindly supported by the European Commission with Andrea Gavinelli (Head of Animal Welfare Unit, EC) making a speech praising the work of Compassion and the award winners.

In total, 41 awards were presented across a range of categories: the Retailer Awards, the Good Egg Award, the Good Chicken Award, the Good Dairy Award, the Good Pig Award and new for 2015 the Good Rabbit Award with almost 15 million farm animals set to benefit each year from the winners’ higher welfare policies. Of the 41 awards, five of them were presented to retailers and manufacturers from across the world, for their commitment to improve the lives of meat pigs and sows.

Dr Tracey Jones, Director of Food Business at Compassion in World Farming said: “The Good Pig Award was only launched in 2012 so it is great to see that there is already real momentum behind it with five businesses this year, committing to improve the lives of pigs in the food chain. Their work alone will positively impact on over 85,000 pigs. It is a real achievement by our Food Business Managers working with, and supporting, these companies in what can be a slow, time consuming process to make changes of this scale, sometimes across global businesses.”

Household name Whole Foods Market achieved a Good Pig Award in the UK and a Good Sow Commendation for its work in the USA. In the UK, Whole Foods Market has committed to sell only free range pork in its nine UK stores while in the US, they prohibit sows from ever being kept in crates at any point in their lives and sows must be kept in enriched environments.

Fumagalli is a leading Italian pig manufacturer, whose whole supply chain, from the genetics of the animals to the finished product, is managed directly by the company. Fumagalli's production is exported all over the world, supplying various retailers, such as Waitrose through Winterbotham Darby. The high importance that the company has always given to animal welfare is now acknowledged by Compassion with a Good Sow Commendation recognising Fumagalli's commitment to improve the welfare of sows.

The two remaining award winners are UK manufacturers, Dingley Dell Pork and Denhay Farms Ltd, both of whom were presented with a Good Pig Award.

Dingley Dell Pork is a 3rd generation pig farm in the UK. Historically, pigs were kept inside but on coming home to the business 23 years ago, brothers Mark and Paul embarked on the family’s first outdoor production site a policy which earned them the Good Pig Award.

The incentive to start the outdoor production was not just about animal welfare but also the opportunity to respond to 10 years of low pork prices by securing a stronger position in the supply chain and creating the higher welfare Dingley brand. Dingley supply food service, retail and catering butchers, local hotels and restaurants. By having slaughter, processing and manufacturing partners Dingley Dell are able to supply a range of fresh pork and cured products to top chefs and food businesses in the UK, Channel Islands, Belgium, Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai.

UK based Denhay Farms Ltd was established in 1952 in the West Country. One of their brands – ‘Denhay’ – produces dry cured bacon and gammon using only pork from outdoor bred British herds that are RSPCA Freedom Food accredited. Denhay can be found in Sainsbury’s and Waitrose stores and online at Ocado. The Denhay brand receives a Good Pig Award for its higher welfare policies.

Tracey again: “Every year I am so impressed by the commitment and drive of our Award winners to make genuine improvements to the lives of millions of farm animals. However, it also serves to remind me that there is still a huge amount of work to be done before a true market shift towards higher welfare food takes place. I’m confident the higher welfare message is spreading globally as more and more businesses realise that there is not just an ethical imperative to address farm animal welfare but a commercial one too.”

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