As part of our work on the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare, we have spent the past two months trawling through the websites, sustainability reports and annual reports of some 70 major retailers, food producers and food service companies.
We previously evaluated these companies a little over a year ago and since then, we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of companies producing integrated reports or focusing sustainability reporting on issues considered most material to its business.
This emphasis on material issues aligns with the pressures from investors and initiatives such as the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) and the Global Reporting Initiative (whose G4 Guidelines put materiality at the heart of the reporting process). While there is clear business logic for this emphasis, one of the consequences is that issues not seen as material tend to get less attention. Farm animal welfareprovides a good illustration of this. Because it is not seen as a material issue, most food companies either do not report on farm animal welfare at all or, if they do, they provide at best a cursory description of their approach. READ MORE