Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and the Morrisons have won awards at Compassion in World Farming’s Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards for improving the lives of farm animals.
Waitrose was named Compassionate Supermarket of the Year at the awards ceremony at St Paul's Cathedral last night presented by the TV personality Bill Oddie.
Compassion in World Farming scored Waitrose highly on issues such as stocking densities, freedom to express natural behaviour and the overall well-being, and praised its standards for pigs, chicken and farmed fish.
Sainsbury’s, Britain’s third biggest supermarket chain, was named the UK's Best Volume Supermarket, in addition to winning a Good Chicken award.
Sainsbury’s stopped selling eggs from caged hens last year, more than two years ahead of a ban on the barren battery cages and has committed to using only cage-free eggs in its own-brand food by the end of next year.
Sales of meat meeting the standards of the RSPCA’s Freedom Food scheme have doubled at Sainsbury’s in a year and it now sells 62 per cent of all Freedom Food in the UK.
Morrisons, which will end the sale of own-label cage eggs this year, was named Most Improved Supermarket.
The Co-op and Marks & Spencer were among the Good Chicken winners at the awards, of which The Independent is media sponsor.
Alongside Bill Oddie, they were presented by ITV vet Marc Abraham, model Juliet Johns, chef Paul Merrett and food writer Caroline Bretherton.
Joanna Lumley, Compassion in World Farming’s patron, was unable to attend the ceremony at the crypt of St Paul's, being on stage in London in a production of La Bete, but sent a goodwill message to guests in a pre-recorded film.
For the past three years Compassion in World Farming has run the Good Egg Awards, which have celebrated companies moving to cage-free eggs, but this year the charity based in Godalming, Surrey extended the awards to wider animal welfare.
At the new Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards, Compass Group clients Coca Cola and the Met Office won Good Egg Awards, while Pret A Manger and Battersea Cats and Dogs Home was among the Good Chicken Award winners.
Quentin Clark, Waitrose’s head of ethical sourcing, said: “A belief in the very highest standards of animal welfare is right at the heart of the way we do business. Our customers, too, always expect us to treat animals fairly and with respect at all times and we make an enormous effort to make sure this trust is well placed.”
Judith Batchelar, Sainsbury’s director of brand, said: “We are thrilled that the hard work we have put into improving animal welfare has been recognised with these two awards. Animal welfare continues to be one of our customers' top concerns.”
Compassion in World Farming estimated the 30 award winners would improve the lives of 174 million animals..
“We were thrilled to have so many great companies winning awards and making such a positive difference to millions of farm animals every year,” said Rowen West-Henzell, its head of food business.
GOOD EGG AWARDS
Scottish Government / Sodexo
Met Office / Compass
Coca Cola / Compass
Battersea Dogs Home
GOOD CHICKEN AWARDS
The Cooperative Food
Pret A Manger
Battersea Dogs Home
Waitrose (Most Compassionate Supermarket)
Morrisons (Most Improved Supermarket)
Sainsbury's (Best Volume Supermarket