Several months after workers at one of its dairy suppliers were charged with animal cruelty after being caught on camera abusing cows, Nestle says that it is taking steps to ensure that the animals in its supply chain are treated properly.
The world’s largest food and beverage company unveiled a number of new animal welfare standards that its 7,300 suppliers – and their suppliers – must meet, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Under the new guidelines, Nestle’s suppliers of dairy, meat, poultry and eggs are required, among other things, to provide more space for farm animals, minimize pain in veterinary practices and welcome independent auditors.
Officials with Nestle say the Responsible Sourcing Guidelines extend to the companies that suppliers buy from, as well; meaning the new standards will reach “hundreds of thousands of farms around the world.”
“We know that our consumers care about the welfare of farm animals and we, as a company, are committed to ensuring the highest possible levels of farm animal welfare across our global supply chain,” Benjamin Ware, the company’s Manager of Responsible Sourcing, said in a news release.
In order to ensure that new standards are being met, Nestle commissioned an independent auditor to visit suppliers.
If a violation is found the company will work with suppliers to improve the treatment of animals and ensure standards are implemented correctly. If the supplier can not meet the requirements despite Nestle’s assistance they will no longer provide goods to the beverage and food maker.
Nestle teamed up with the World Animal Protection NGO to craft the tighter requirements.
Over the past several years, several companies, including Wendy’s, McDonald’s and Safeway, have pledged to take animal welfare seriously. In most cases, the commitment came in the form of vowing to phase out pork suppliers that use gestation crates.
Nestle announces new animal welfare standards [The Los Angeles Times]