Swiss food manufacturing giant, Nestle has announced a major pledge to improve the welfare of animals within its supply chain following the signing of a partnership with NGO, World Animal Protection.
The move will see hundreds of thousands of farms within Nestle's supply chain tighten their animal welfare standards to be in line with new guidelines which were developed in conjunction with World Animal Protection.
Nestle has around 7,300 suppliers from which it purchases a range of animal-derived products including milk, meat and eggs. Each of these suppliers, in turn, buy from others meaning that Nestle’s new animal welfare guidelines will apply to hundreds of thousands of farms around the globe.
"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, Nestle’s manager of Responsible Sourcing.
Nestle’s new animal welfare guidelines will cover a host of issues including the specification of spacing requirements for the rearing pens of cows and pigs to ensure that they are not cramped. The guidelines will also minimise pain for farm animals by using veterinary practices that reduce pain, while some practices will be completely avoided in the first place by using different animal husbandry practices.
Nestle will be conducting audits of its suppliers via independent auditor SGS, to ensure that the new standards are met. When a violation is identified, Nestle will work with the suppliers to improve the treatment of farm animals and ensure that they meet the required standards. Should the supplier be either unable or unwilling to show improvement following guidance from Nestle, they will no longer supply the company.
“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, World Animal Protection Chief Executive.
The World Animal Protection agreement forms part of Nestlé’s broader Responsible Sourcing activities which cover human rights, health and safety and environmental issues.