The Global Coalition for Animal Welfare (GCAW) is the world’s first food industry-led initiative aimed at advancing animal welfare globally. The global platform unites major companies and animal welfare experts in improving animal welfare standards at scale and in meeting consumer demand for food products from animals reared in systems that promote good welfare.
Today, more than 70 billion animals are farmed for food annually. Over 70% of these animals live in intensive systems, often experiencing poor welfare standards. Improving these systems is a significant ethical and logistical challenge. Alongside the moral imperative for change, the global food system must maintain high levels of food safety for animal ingredients, address challenges like antimicrobial resistance and mitigate the environmental impact of new approaches.
Founded by seven member companies, GCAW represents some of the largest names in global food production and food service: Aramark, Compass Group, Elior Group, IKEA Food Services, Nestlé, Sodexo and Unilever. These companies have launched the Global Coalition for Animal Welfare to collectively address systemic barriers to improving animal welfare, accelerate the development of standards and drive progress on key welfare issues.
GCAW will advance animal welfare through:
- Providing a platform for food companies to work more closely with farm animal welfare experts to identify common objectives and drive improvements;
- Prioritizing welfare issues and developing roadmaps for industry change while supporting producers in implementing strong animal welfare practices;
- Advancing animal welfare knowledge globally through industry insights, bespoke research and partnerships for action.
GCAW members have identified five priority work streams: cage-free policies, improved broiler chicken welfare, farmed fish welfare, antimicrobial resistance, and global standards for transportation and slaughter. Working with a group of multi-disciplinary experts from academia, industry and the NGO sector, GCAW aims to publish an agenda for change during the first half of 2019.
Joining the GCAW follows the introduction of the IKEA Food Better Chicken Programme in January 2018 – the first of the IKEA Food Better Programmes for more sustainable agriculture and better animal welfare. It contains a set of requirements for more sustainable chicken production in the IKEA food supply chain addressing animal welfare, public health and environmental impact at the farm level.
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