Farmers around the world who supply Nestlé with dairy products, meat, poultry and eggs will have to comply with tighter animal welfare standards from now on.
The company has made a major global pledge to improve the welfare of the farm animals in its supply chain following the signing of a partnership agreement with NGO World Animal Protection. Nestlé say this makes them “the first major food company to form an international partnership with an animal welfare NGO”.
World Animal Protection’s chief executive, Mike Baker, commented: “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.”
Nestlé, who source animal-derived products from 7,300 suppliers, say they are “committed to ensuring the highest possible levels of farm animal welfare” across their global supply chain. This includes “spacing requirements for the rearing pens of certain species of animals, such as pigs and cows, to ensure they are not cramped and can engage in normal animal behaviour”.
The company has commissioned an independent auditor, SGS, to carry out checks to ensure the new standards of animal welfare are met on supplying farms. Several hundred farm assessments have already been carried out worldwide, some of which were attended, unannounced, by World Animal Protection representatives.
When a violation is identified, Nestlé say they will “work with the supplier to improve the treatment of farm animals to ensure they meet the required standards”. They also said, however, that if, despite engagement and guidance from Nestlé, the supply company involved is unable or unwilling to show improvement, it will “no longer supply Nestlé”.