Farm animal welfare

   

We recognise and share the concerns of consumers, governments, investors and civil society organisations about animal welfare, and we appreciate that robust welfare standards can have both a direct and an indirect impact on food safety and quality. We are therefore committed to cooperating with our supply chain partners and other stakeholders to support the long-term economic, environmental and social viability of animal farming systems for the benefit of farmers and rural communities, while ensuring farm animal health and welfare.

At a glance

  • In November 2013, we began to assess dairy farms in our upstream supply chains in Europe, using our newly created Responsible Sourcing Guideline assessment protocol, which includes farm animal welfare;
  • Our Responsible Sourcing Assessment protocol, which we are using to assess animal welfare practices at the farm-level, was developed with the expertise of the World Animal Protection (formerly, the World Society for the Protection of Animals);
  • In March 2014, we became the first major food company to enter into a global partnership with an international animal welfare NGO, World Animal Protection;
  • We will start to implement our Responsible Sourcing requirements on meat, poultry and eggs in our supply chain in early 2014;
  • We will gradually implement these requirements, which are based on our Commitment on Farm Animal Welfare (pdf, 1.41 Mb), across our extended global supply chain;
  • We are contributing to the development of an ISO technical specification for farm animal welfare; and
  • We increased our score in the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare from 21% in 2012 to 56% in 2013.

What we’re doing

  • We use milk and milk products as ingredients in a range of our products, including yoghurts, beverages, confectionery and culinary products. We also use meat, poultry, seafood and eggs in a range of products across our portfolio, including ready-made and frozen meals, bouillons, soups and sauces, and in pet food.

    We buy processed meat in the form of cooked and dehydrated products, oils and powders, as well as cooked, frozen and fresh meat. We do not buy animals reared by contract farmers or procured on the open market, or whole live animals.

    All materials derived from animals that are used in the manufacturing of products sold by our company must comply fully with all applicable local laws and regulations on animal welfare.

    We monitor the global regulatory environment to ensure compliance with applicable farm animal welfare laws and regulations, and to help us meet our broader animal welfare commitments.

  • Beyond regulatory compliance, we are committed to working with food chain and non-profit partners, local authorities, and regional and international organisations to promote the continuous improvement of farm animal welfare, in line with the standards and guidelines set out by the World Organisation for Animal Health – the OIE.

    We are the first major food company to enter into a global partnership with an international animal welfare NGO, World Animal Protection. Together with World Animal Protection and our supply chain partners, we are working toward further improving farm animal welfare in our supply chain by ensuring compliance with our RSG. In 2013, we developed Responsible Sourcing requirements for meat, poultry and eggs, based on our Nestlé Commitment on Farm Animal Welfare (pdf, 1.41 Mb), which was established in 2012 and updated in 2014. We will begin the implementation of these requirements in our supply chain in early 2014.

  • In November 2013, we began assessing dairy farms in our upstream supply chains in Europe using our newly created Responsible Sourcing Guideline assessment protocol, which we have developed with the expertise of our partner, World Animal Protection. In the first quarter of 2014, we will continue to gradually extend the coverage of these dairy supplier assessments across our global supply chain, focusing on animal welfare at the farm level.

  • We support the development and implementation of the OIE guidelines, and have been working with our industry partners as part of SSAFE, a Public–Private Partnership dedicated to integrating food safety with animal and plant health, on a project to develop an ISO technical specification (TS) for farm animal welfare.

    The goal of this proposed specification, which would apply to the welfare of terrestrial animals bred or kept for food production, is to help to implement the OIE standards in the global supply chain.

    Nestlé has been actively involved in the preparation of a formal proposal since April 2012.

    The member countries that comprise the ISO Technical Committee 34 on Food Products voted in favour of the development of the ISO TS for farm animal welfare in November 2013. Nestlé representatives will contribute to the ISO TS Working Group through the Swiss Association for Standardisation (SNV) and SSAFE. The Working Group expects to develop this ISO TS over the next two years.

  • In 2012 and 2013, we contributed to the stakeholder consultation process on the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW), which was launched in June 2012. The BBFAW is a global measure of animal welfare standards in food companies, designed for use by investors. It is supported by The World Society for the Protection of Animals and the farm animal welfare charity Compassion in World Farming.

    Nestlé was among the food sector companies assessed by the BBFAW in 2012 and 2013. In 2013, our score increased to 56%, up from 21% in 2012.

    In its 2013 summary report of Nestlé’s results, the BBFAW noted that the “significant improvements” in our scores year on year reflect the fact that we had launched our Responsible Sourcing Guideline on farm animal welfare. The BBFAW also noted that it had consequently seen “improved transparency and communication on the company’s management commitments and governance on farm animal welfare management.”

  • Our two demonstration dairy farms in Pakistan, which have operated since 2007 and 2010 respectively, are central to our dairy farmer training efforts. Animal care is incorporated into the programme on good dairy herd management for local farmers from whom we directly source milk.

    The training includes instruction on cross-breeding and artificial insemination techniques by specialists in the field, to help the farmers in breeding and raising dairy animals that are adapted to the local environment.

    We also provide expert technical support through offsite workshops in Pakistan, which also cover recommended practices for dairy animal health and welfare.

    In 2011, Nestlé joined an initiative – through our Dairy Partners Americas joint venture in South America – to help more than 2200 dairy farms in Brazil to improve milk quality, safety and sustainability. As part of this initiative, which is grounded in the sharing of best practices, these dairy farmers receive training on improving animal welfare, including basic veterinary skills, and training on improving milking parlour conditions.

    We have started to build our Dairy Farming Institute in Shuangcheng, Heilongjiang Province, China. Due to commence operations in 2014, the institute will include two demonstration farms, which will help facilitate the training of local dairy managers on best practices in dairy operations and animal husbandry. The training programme, which is being developed by leading universities, makes clear links between animal health and welfare, and milk production and dairy cow longevity.

    As well as providing participating managers with practical lessons and tools for use in their day-to-day dairy operations, this intensive training will build capacity, support the transfer of knowledge to dairy employees, and ensure these practices, including those related to animal health and welfare, are applied by their workers.


Next steps

  • We will gradually implement our Responsible Sourcing requirements for meat, poultry, eggs, and also milk and dairy, across our extended global supply chain, focusing on animal welfare at the farm level;
  • We will continue to gradually extend our newly created dairy Responsible Sourcing Guideline assessment protocol across our global supply chain in 2014;
  • We will carefully consider BBFAW’s recommendations with respect to our policies and practices on farm animal welfare in our supply chain; and
  • We will include training programmes on best practices in dairy operations and animal husbandry at our new Dairy Farming Institute in China, which opens in 2014.

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Find out more in our Creating Shared Value full report