Sir: The Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare published this week (25 February), emphasised what the recent horsemeat scandal has already highlighted: a lack of transparency within global supply chains that introduces high levels of risk - whether animal welfare or traceability related.
Of the 68 global and European companies assessed, only 46% publish a formal policy on animal welfare and only 19% describe how this is managed on a day-to-day basis.
Businesses must begin to take responsibility for, and manage, the risks and opportunities relating to farm animal welfare. Operating dedicated supply chains, with direct control over standards and practices, allows companies to better manage these issues.
By sourcing more British meat, Tesco has the opportunity to improve the management and transparency within its supply chains and for other food businesses to follow suit.
However, buying British does not necessarily equal higher animal welfare. Companies operating dedicated supplies, such as Waitrose, are able to demand higher welfare standards.
Katy Read, head of food business, Compassion in World Farming