First Good Pig Awards Presented to Italian Producers

GLOBAL - Strides in pig welfare are being made with the first full Good Pig Awards attained by Italian producers at Compassion in World Farming’s Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards and farm animal welfare may have reached a significant tipping point as food businesses from all corners of the globe were recognised at the annual awards ceremony.
calendar icon 7 July 2016
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Held in Berlin on 28 June and hosted by singer/songwriter and animal welfare advocate Blanche Elliz, winners were announced from North and South America, Australasia, China and Europe demonstrating that awareness of farm animal welfare is rising in the public and business consciousness globally.

The Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards celebrate the commitment of leading food businesses to improve animal welfare standards. The higher welfare policies and practices of this year’s 41 main award winners (and SME’s) are set to benefit over 85 million animals each year. The annual Awards comprise the Good Egg Award, Good Chicken Award, Good Dairy Award, Good Pig Award and Good Rabbit Award.

This year three Good Pig Awards and two Good Sow Commendations were presented with the highlight being the presentation of the first full Good Pig Awards to two Italian producers.

Known for its quality hams and cured meats, Italy may be perceived as a country where pig welfare is high on the agenda, yet there is still widespread routine tail docking, teeth-clipping/grinding and castration without pain relief of meat pigs, reared in over-crowded barren pens; as well as the use of sow stalls (in the observation period) and farrowing crates for sows.

The commitment by both Fumagalli (Pictured and who supply Waitrose) and Primavera to address the needs of sows and meat pigs is a major step forward and saw the first full Good Pig Award winners in Italy.

That’s why Fumagalli’s planned marketing and communications activities focusing on the need for higher welfare, highlighting their commitments, promoting their products and encouraging others to follow suit, is so important.

Tracey Jones, Director of Food Business at Compassion said: “Regrettably, standard pig production often fails to meet the welfare needs of sows and meat pigs. This is why the ground breaking investment in higher welfare systems and practices for pigs in Italy is absolutely outstanding, demonstrating that better systems for farm animals can be developed and supported through the supply chain and by the market place. To my mind these awards demonstrate a real step change in attitudes and approach towards pig welfare in Italy.”

The remaining Good Pig Award went to UK based manufacturer, Cook which sells frozen food made using the same ingredients and techniques that a good cook would use at home. They have 84 stores in the UK as well as concessions in over 400 food retailers and this year secured a Good Pig Award for the use of higher welfare pork in all their dishes.

Richard Pike, Technical Director at Cook said: “We’re delighted to be working with two, brilliant pig farmers, Rob Mercer at Packington Free Range and Mark Haywood at Dingley Dell. With their help we can guarantee our customers some of the best, free-range British pork money can buy. For us, using meat from animals that have led as natural an existence as possible, produced in a sustainable way, is essential to our core purpose. For this reason, we are thrilled to have received the Good Pig Award from Compassion in World Farming.”

The two Good Sow Commendations were given to Italian producer, Madeo Tenuta Corone and Spanish producer, Marcos both of whom work closely with UK partner, Winterbotham Darby. The Madeo family started their business in 1984 with just seven rare breed pigs – their native Black Pig of Calabria – today they rear around 3,000 each year on their farms in the South of Italy. Over the years they have implemented higher welfare standards for their sows, which are reared outdoors throughout their entire lives including during farrowing.

The farmers that work with Marcos raise Iberico Bellota and Iberico Cebo Campo free-range pigs. Marcos is developing and improving the traditional processes they use to better the welfare and quality of life for the pigs which they believe will have a direct impact on the quality of the finished product in addition to sustainability and environmental benefits.

Tracey Jones again: “We congratulate all our award winners. Together, they are set to benefit the lives of more than 85 million animals each year; demonstrating that animals who are so often caged, crated or confined, can have a life worth living and even a good life, where their needs are met and the value of their lives embraced. The Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards always make me very proud of what has been achieved so far but also serves to remind me that there is still much to be done to spread the animal welfare message and ensure more and more businesses globally realise there is not just an ethical imperative to address farm animal welfare but a commercial one too.”

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