Supply chain challenges and solutions
Award-winning animal welfare
Our work to improve animal welfare was recognized externally in 2017, as our Herta brand in France received a Good Egg Award at the Compassion in World Farming’s Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards.
We were also pleased to be awarded a in 2018 by Compassion in World Farming for our cage-free pledge in Europe.
Animal welfare – poultry
In 2017 and 2018, we made three major poultry welfare pledges:
- We set a goal to purchase only cage-free eggs for all our food products globally by 2025, and by 2020 in Europe and the US.
- We committed to higher welfare standards for broiler chickens (chickens raised for meat, rather than egg, production) in the US by 2024, including slower growth rates, better leg health and improved environments in line with standards.
- In June 2018, we committed to higher welfare standards for broiler chickens in Europe by 2026, in line with the requirements of the .
Our broiler pledge in Europe
We will ensure that chicken welfare standards for poultry used in all of our food products in Europe meet the criteria expectations set out in the European Broiler Ask/Better Chicken Commitment. By 2026, we will move to one standard, based on a phased introduction. Our announcement provides details of which brands we will focus on.
The European Broiler Ask/Better Chicken Commitment requires that 100% of the chicken used in Nestlé food products must (by 2026):
- Demonstrate compliance with the above standards via third-party auditing and annual public reporting on progress towards this commitment.
Our pledge applies to the whole of Nestlé’s Europe, Middle East and North Africa Zone – including all countries subject to EU legislation.
Nestlé’s announcement to take their cage-free egg commitment worldwide, and to improve the welfare of broiler chickens in Europe by signing up to the 2026 Better Chicken Commitment highlights the company’s ambition for continuous improvement for farm animal welfare. Tracey Jones, Director of Food Business at Compassion in World Farming
Their commitments have the potential to improve the lives of millions of farm animals in their supply chain and we will continue to work with Nestlé to ensure the effective implementation of these commitments.
Animal welfare – beyond poultry
Beyond poultry, we are looking to identify and assess opportunities for welfare improvements for other animals, and will be developing new initiatives and solutions for other aspects of our meat, poultry and egg supply chain. Animal welfare matters to us and to our consumers, who expect affordable, high-quality foods without compromising on the wellbeing of animals.
Partnering to make change
Nestlé participated in a three-year partnership with World Animal Protection from 2014 to 2017. This program of work included strategic advice on driving improvements in welfare standards and joint visits to farms in Nestlé’s supply chain to identify gaps and potential solutions. Our announcements on cage-free eggs and broiler welfare build on the work carried out through this partnership, and we look forward to exploring further potential opportunities for collaboration with World Animal Protection in the future.
In June 2018, Nestlé entered into a global partnership with . This will help define priorities to improve farm animal welfare further in the Nestlé supply chain, including sharing best practices and offering training for Nestlé staff.
In October 2018, Nestlé became one of the founding members of the . Food service companies and food manufacturers are working together through the GCAW to advance animal welfare standards globally – including improving conditions for intensively reared livestock.
Setting high standards globally
We recognize and share stakeholders’ concerns about the welfare of animals raised for food and the need to ensure sustainable animal production systems. Through our Nestlé Responsible Sourcing Standard, we are helping to bring about positive change.
Our mandatory Nestlé Responsible Sourcing Standard (pdf, 2Mb) requires our suppliers of animal-derived ingredients to meet all applicable laws and regulations on animal welfare, and communicate this to their suppliers and farmers. The Nestlé Commitment on Farm Animal Welfare (pdf, 1Mb) sets out further ways to improve the health, care and welfare of the farm animals in our supply chain.
We are committed to eliminating from our global supply chain specific practices that are not consistent with the internationally accepted Five Freedoms:
- Freedom from hunger, thirst and malnutrition.
- Freedom from fear and distress.
- Freedom from physical and thermal discomfort.
- Freedom from pain, injury and disease.
- Freedom to express normal patterns of behavior.
Among the specific practices we have committed to eliminating are:
- Cattle: dehorning, tail docking, disbudding and castration without anesthetic and analgesia, and veal crates.
- Pigs: gestation crates, tail docking and surgical castration.
- Poultry and eggs: cage systems, particularly barren cages, and rapid-growth practices with respect to the effects on animal health and welfare.
- Animal production systems in general: our first focus is the responsible use of antibiotics in line with the guidance, and the phasing out of growth promoters.
We are currently prioritizing practices to be addressed and assessing how best to tackle them. We will also support the development and implementation of science-based international standards and guidelines by the , a global measure of animal welfare standards in food companies supported by the nonprofit organizations and . In the 2017 report (published in February 2018), Nestlé remained in the ‘Tier 3: Established but work to be done’ ranking.
Developing standards for farm animal welfare management
We participate in an international, multistakeholder working group that has developed an International Organization for Standardization (. The TS is science based, nonprescriptive and outcome based. It will facilitate the integration of animal welfare principles in business-to-business relations between suppliers and customers, and provide a route to demonstrate conformance through additional assurance by an external party. We are working to implement TS in our supply chain and engage with the OIE to develop further species-specific guidance.
Nestlé Farm Animal Welfare Q&A (pdf, 191 Kb)