Following an agreement with the World Animal Protection, Nestlé has announced that the 7,300 farms that supply it with meat, poultry, and eggs will now have to comply with sterner animal welfare standards.
The agreement marks the first time a major food company has formed an international partnership with an animal welfare non-government organization.
Upon the advisement of the World Animal Protection, Nestlé improved its “Nestlé Responsible Sourcing Guidelines” and further tightened the animal welfare requirements that all its farms must adhere to as part of the company’s supplier code.
The new standards outline new spacing prerequisites for livestock production systems and guidelines to minimize pain for animals.
As stated in the sourcing guideline, “The physical environment should allow comfortable resting, safe and comfortable movement including normal postural changes, and the opportunity to perform types of natural behavior that animals are motivated to perform.”
Furthermore, “Social grouping of animals should be managed to allow positive social behavior and minimize injury, distress and chronic fear.”
All suppliers are subjected to farm assessments from an independent auditor, SGS, commissioned by Nestlé. In 2014, several hundred farms assessments have already been completed, according to the company.
Moreover, when a violation is acknowledged, Nestlé will work with the supplier to improve the treatment of farm animals to ensure they meet the required standards. If, despite engagement and guidance from Nestlé, the company is unable or unwilling to show improvement, it will no longer supply Nestlé.