Multinational food companies have joined forces today to advance animal welfare standards throughout the global food supply chain.
Launched on Wednesday (10 October), the Global Coalition for Animal Welfare (GCAW) is the world’s first food industry-led initiative aimed at advancing animal welfare globally.
The global platform unites major companies and 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.
Founded by seven member companies, 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 £121bn (EUR 139 billion), and serving 3.7 billion customers per day, the companies have launched the group to 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 by providing a platform for food companies to work more closely with farm animal welfare experts to identify common objectives and drive improvements, and by prioritising welfare issues by developing roadmaps for industry change while supporting farmers in implementing strong animal welfare practices.
The group has identified five priority work streams: cage-free policies, improved broiler chicken welfare, farmed fish welfare, antimicrobial resistance, and global standards for transportation and slaughter.
Working with a group of multi-disciplinary experts from academia, industry and civil society, GCAW aims to publish an agenda for change during 2019.