If Asda's Chris Brown had taken the time to read Compassion in World Farming's Supermarket Survey Report properly he would have seen that it is based on well-respected and accepted scientific evidence and research - not assumptions ('Welfare survey is flawed says Asda', The Grocer, 8 December 2007, p5). The survey scored both outcome measures and inputs and we took the results to experts to ensure its validity. We also know it is widely respected in the food industry and used in retail and foodservice as a reference point. It was a great pleasure to award M&S as the major industry leader on farm animal welfare, with Sainsbury's winning the inaugural Best Volume Retailer award, which was specifically aimed at the Big Four - hardly the 'smaller retailer' bias Asda claims. If Asda had the policies, performance and participation that made Sainsbury's stand out it could have won that award - but didn't. Do I detect sour grapes from Asda? It begs one to ask why Asda cannot answer these questions when other leading retailers managed to do so. With increasing emphasis on CSR, food companies can no longer hide behind blanket statements like 'we take animal welfare seriously'. The supermarkets who completed our survey demonstrated that they are not afraid to be transparent with their customers and competitors. We know from consumer surveys such as the EU Eurobarometer that consumers will vote with their feet and wallets on the basis of better animal welfare - and will take their business elsewhere if their concerns are not treated with respect.