MAJOR Australian supermarket Woolworths is reviewing its use of the Business Benchmark for Farm Animal Welfare to measure its performance against other retailers.
Sheep Central on Thursday reported on a call for Australia’s major supermarkets to dissociate themselves from the benchmark due to its proposal to rank food companies on commitments to reduce their reliance on animal protein.
The benchmark’s animal rights centric partners Compassion in World Farming and FourPaws International have proposed the inclusion of new questions in the BBFAW assessment criteria that would enable the ranking of companies on any commitments to reducing reliance on animal-sourced foods.
However, a Woolworths spokesperson told Sheep Central the company was not aligned to targets for reduced livestock production and remained committed to meeting ongoing demand for quality Australian meat now, and well into the future.
“We’re investing in long-term partnerships with producers to make that possible.
“Following a range of changes to its assessment criteria, we are currently reviewing our use of the Business Benchmark for Farm Animal Welfare to measure our performance against other retailers,” the spokesperson said.
Woolworths’ review of the recently released proposed updates to the BBFAW methodology is currently underway, and its feedback has not yet been submitted to BBFAW. Woolworths does not have a partnership with BBFAW.
The BBFAW selects companies to assess based on publicly available information. It independently selects retailers across the globe for its benchmarking program and retailers such as Woolworths do not have the option to opt out.
Coles and Woolworths were contacted about their future BBFAW intentions within a context of the benchmark including assessment criteria on animal-based protein food reliance.
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