Animal welfare nominations sought

The RSPCA is asking companies to nominate themselves for the Good Business Awards.

The RSPCA is asking companies to nominate themselves for the Good Business Awards, which recognise ethical business policies towards animal welfare in the fields of food, fashion and beauty.

The awards are run by the RSPCA but judged by an independent panel of experts and are open to all food retailers that show innovation and excellence in advancing animal welfare.

David Bowles, RSPCA head of external affairs, said: "Ethical consumerism is now worth a staggering £29.3bn a year and increasing consumer awareness of animal welfare issues and consumer demand for higher welfare products are playing a crucial role in persuading retailers to make animal welfare a priority.

"Many retailers are applauded for their environmental and fair trade policies, and now it's time to celebrate those that strive to improve animal welfare. Whether your company is large or small, the RSPCA Good Business Awards acknowledge and promote those that go the extra mile to include animal welfare as part of their ethical business policy."

One of the judges, food consultant Dr Geoff Spriegel, said: "The recent interest in support for farmers by the retailers reflects the view that their customers are more aware than ever of standards of animal and worker welfare in the supply chain.

"The RSPCA Good Business Awards provides an opportunity for retailers and their suppliers to demonstrate their commitment to addressing issues of concern to consumers, and through this gain an advantage in a highly competitive market."

Last year's winners, in achieving higher standards for animal welfare, were M&S Food in the supermarket category, and Samphire in the small retailer category. Abel and Cole was recognised for its commitment to improving animal welfare.

Judging will concentrate on the following areas: welfare of beef, dairy cattle, chickens bred for meat, laying hens, pigs, sheep and farmed fish; live transport of animals; slaughter methods; labelling; import of meat and eggs from other countries; and farm inspection.

Entry questionnaires can be downloaded from www.rspcagoodbusinessawards.com or by contacting the RSPCA Good Business Awards team on 0870 754 0488 or awards@rspca.org.uk. The entry deadline is Friday 29 June.