M&S and Sainsbury’s receive welfare awards

Marks & Spencer (M&S) and Sainsbury’s received awards from Compassion in World Farming at the organisation’s newly launched European Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards.

The retailers were awarded for their commitment to animal welfare at the ceremony, which for the first time combined the UK and European awards in Paris on Wednesday (30 October).

M&S took two awards, including Best Retailer and Best Performing Retailer, whereas Sainsbury’s was awarded the Best Retailer Marketing Award.

M&S’ agriculture sourcing & animal welfare manager Mark Atherton-Ranson said: “M&S has got a great track record in delivering high standards of animal welfare and we only work with suppliers who share our welfare commitments.

“Introducing higher welfare standards can present some big challenges, but each of them gives us great opportunities to move animal welfare forward and deliver to customers what they expect from us.”

Due to CiWF recognising smaller businesses throughout the year, the European awards focused on the industry’s bigger players due to the large impact they have on animal welfare.

CiWF director of food business Dr Tracey Jones said: “Opening up the survey to other European companies has been interesting. It’s often perceived that, in the UK, animal welfare is a more mature issue and while UK retailers still came top in many of the Retailer Award categories, there was stiff competition from their European counterparts, which was great to see.

“It is Compassion’s intention to engage with as many of the big retailers and manufacturers as possible, since working with the giants of the food industry will effect the biggest change and impact the lives of millions of farm animals.”

Delighted to have won the award, Sainsbury’s head of agriculture Sue Lockhart said: “As a business we are committed to higher farm animal welfare standards and work hard to communicate this to our customers. This recognition from Compassion will help us to further strengthen our welfare credentials and messages, helping us to encourage more consumers to try higher welfare products in their weekly shop.”