Nestlé has announced a major pledge to improve the welfare of the farm animals in its supply chain, following the signature of a partnership agreement with NGO World Animal Protection.
The agreement means that the hundreds of thousands of farms that supply Nestlé with its dairy, meat, poultry and eggs will have to comply with tighter animal welfare standards, reported Nestlé, noting it is the first major food company to form an international partnership with an animal welfare NGO.
World Animal Protection, which has been working with governments, communities and international agencies to improve animal welfare for more than 50 years, welcomed the agreement. “Our decision to work with Nestlé is based upon their clear commitment to improving animal welfare and the lasting change this can have on millions of farm animals around the world,” said Mike Baker, chief executive, NGO.
Nestlé has some 7,300 suppliers from whom it buys animal-derived products directly – everything from milk for its range of yogurts and ice-creams, to meat for its chilled foods and eggs for its fresh pastry and pasta, reported the company, adding each of these suppliers, in turn, buys from others, meaning that Nestlé’s Responsible Sourcing Guidelines apply to literally hundreds of thousands of farms around the world.
“We know that our consumers care about the welfare of farm animals and we, as a company, are committed to ensuring the highest possible levels of farm animal welfare across our global supply chain,” said Benjamin Ware, manager of responsible sourcing with Nestlé.
In addition, following the involvement of World Animal Protection, Nestlé’s guidelines also seek to minimize pain for farm animals by using veterinary practices that reduce pain, or avoiding the practices in the first place by different animal husbandry practices. An example would be the dehorning of cows. Cow horns are removed so that they do not injure other cows, reported Nestlé.
When a violation is identified, Nestlé will work with the supplier to improve the treatment of farm animals to ensure they meet the required standards, reported the company. If, despite engagement and guidance from Nestlé, the company is unable or unwilling to show improvement, it will no longer supply Nestlé.
For more information, visit www.nestle.com.