Nestle, Starbucks, Walmart Among Corporations Listed in Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare

Feb 24, 2013 11:50 PM EST

Nestle, Premier Foods, Starbucks and Carrefour are among the large food suppliers that will be named in a landmark "Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare" report to be released on Monday. Especially poor marks are reportedly given to Walmart, Auchan, Mars, and El Corte Ingles, where farm animal welfare is reportedly not part of the management's agenda.

Compassion in World Farming and the World Society for the Protection of Animals are supporters of the study. As the horse meat scandal grows in Europe, consumers and investors are becoming increasingly wary of companies that are not careful about their supply chain.

Of the 68 largest food retailers, only 46 percent publish an animal welfare policy, 41 percent show board or senior management oversight on the issue, and only 26 percent have formal published guidelines.

At least one of the suppliers, Nestle, has described efforts to improve since the study was carried out last summer. The report is designed to shed light on the issue, and spur more food corporations into action to create a healthier and more transparent food chain.

Not all corporations are in lower tiers; Unilever was in the second tier of the rankings, while McDonald's was in tier three.

No doubt, the report and its findings will factor into investors' and consumers' decisions, and be an impetus for change in the coming years.

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