NFACC Update May 2012
In this issue:
- NFACC hosts retail and food service stakeholder consultative session
- Code of Practice Update
- Dairy Farmers of Canada initiates development of on-farm assessment program
- NFACC welcomes Loblaw Companies Ltd. as an Associate Member
- Empowering consumers and creating market opportunities for animal welfare - European Commission and EU Danish Presidency Conference
- Who’s who in animal welfare - 1st FAO Global Multi-stakeholder Forum on Animal Welfare
- Webinar – a retailers / foodservice perspective on animal welfare assurance webinar
- Upcoming Events
NFACC hosts retail and food service stakeholder consultative session: Addressing critical issues in pig welfare
NFACC invited food industry executives to hear how Canada is addressing the escalating interest in animal welfare, using the pig Code as an example of a Code process. The April 20th session outlined how farmers, animal welfare researchers, veterinarians, animal welfare advocates and others are working together to create a credible, national understanding of acceptable animal care practices. It included:
- An overview of the Code Development Process
- Perspectives from stakeholders involved in the pig Code process, including producers, scientists, veterinarians and humane society representatives
- A briefing on critical issues being addressed by the Codes
- An opportunity for the food industry to provide their input
The session was well attended and viewed as very timely by food industry participants. NFACC was asked to host similar sessions in the future as Code development continues.
Revisions to the Codes of Practice are progressing according to the project schedule. Following is a summary of each Code under revision:
Equine – peer review of the Scientists’ Committee (SC) report is underway. The Code Development Committee (CDC), utilizing the SC report, continues to work on the revised Code. The CDC is also considering input received from two online surveys conducted by NFACC on the care and handling of equine.
Beef Cattle – the SC report has been reviewed by the CDC. The report will now go for peer review. Beef cattle owners and others
with an interest in animal care and welfare have an opportunity to provide their input into the redevelopment of Canada’s beef cattle Code of Practice through an online survey. To complete this confidential 10-minute survey, go to www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice/beef-cattle and click on survey.
Pig – the SC report peer review is complete, final edits are being done. The CDC, utilizing the SC report, continues to work on the revised Code.
Sheep – most sections of the SC report has been reviewed by the CDC. Outstanding sections will be reviewed at the next committee meeting in July. The SC report will then be prepped for peer reviews. The CDC continues to work on the revised Code.
Mink and Ranched Fox – both SC reports have been peer reviewed and revised. The CDCs, utilizing the SC reports, continue to work on the revised Code.
Chickens, Turkeys and Breeders – work continues on the SC report. The welfare priority list has been finalized, see www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice/chickens-turkeys-and-breeders.
Poultry (Layers) – in October the Egg Farmers of Canada initiated the review and update of the Code of Practice for poultry in the egg sector. This Code is the eighth currently under revision through the NFACC Code development process. Their first Code meeting was held in April. Priority welfare issues have been identified, the list will be finalized and available online soon.
Visit www.nfacc.ca/codes-of-practice for more details on the Code revisions, the development process and to view the timeline outlining the steps and progress made on the various Codes.
The Dairy Farmers of Canada have initiated the development of an on-farm animal care assessment program. The program will be based on the dairy Code of Practice, and will test pilot the draft Animal Care Assessment Model (ACAM) being developed through NFACC.
Visit www.nfacc.ca/animal-care-assessment-model for more details on the ACAM and the dairy animal care assessment program.
Loblaw was accepted as an associate member of NFACC in April. Significant strides are being made by NFACC to bring the whole value chain and other stakeholders together to develop science-informed approaches to farm animal care. These unique partnerships are valued and integral to addressing public and market concerns.
On May 1 Loblaw launched its 5th annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report, The Way We Do Business. The report outlines the company’s key environmental and social achievements in 2011 and targets for the coming year and well as an introduction to the CSR Long Range Plan.
Animal welfare related targets can be found at: www.loblaw-reports.ca/responsibility/2011/index.php#2012-targets-source.
Empowering consumers and creating market opportunities for animal welfare - European Commission and EU Danish Presidency Conference
Thirty-five speakers delivered a variety of messages to over 400 participants from around the world in Brussels, Belgium February 29 to March 1, 2012.
Stated purpose of the conference: Presenting the Commission strategy to raise consumer empowerment on animal welfare
The event focused on:
- Opportunities of the market-driven approach;
- Implementation of the current animal welfare legislation;
- Latest developments in animal welfare research and sciences.
The agenda, presentations, a brochure on the new EU strategy and other information can be found at ec.europa.eu/food/animal/welfare/seminars/index_en.htm.
In spite of (or perhaps because of) the economic downturn, farm animal welfare continues to be an issue of significant interest in Europe. The EU’s new Animal Welfare Strategy (2012-2015) was described to have a more business and outcome oriented two-fold approach:
- A simplified legal framework that is outcome based and transparent for consumers. A European network of reference centres for technical support, training and information dissemination is envisioned.
- Reinforce existing EU actions by improving compliance with existing legislation, international cooperation (bilateral and multilateral trade agreements) and information campaigns to the public/consumer.
Politicians from the European Parliament spoke of the importance of economic value and fair competition for European farmers. Their aim is to utilize market mechanisms to empower consumers in making “well considered choices.” Not all agree; EuroGroup for Animals released a briefing with the position that, “laissez-faire markets do not promote animal welfare – minimum legislative standards and information campaigns are needed.”
Please contact Jackie Wepruk (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in her detailed rough notes on the conference.
This conference, organized as a series of ten-minute presentations, was held in Brussels on March 1 and 2, 2012. A varied array of forty-five groups from around the world provided information on their organizational mandates, activities, goals and successes specific to animal welfare.
Canadian presentations were delivered by NFACC and the Canadian Pork Council. A video-podcast with snippets of perspectives shared at the conference is available at: vimeo.com/40205988.
On March 30 NFACC presented a live webinar entitled: Trust me doesn’t cut it anymore - A retailers / foodservice perspective on animal welfare assurance, by David Smith, National VP of Retail Strategy and Sustainability, Sobeys.
The webinar is now archived for viewing online. Listen to the webinar to hear David’s inside perspective on what retailers and foodservice companies need to proactively address farm animal welfare challenges, and provide farm animal welfare assurances to their customers.
The webinar was facilitated by Farm Management Canada. Not registered with FMC yet? Click here to register. If you have filled out the registration form on Agriwebinar.com, you are already registered. A single registration gives you access to all live and recorded webinars.
- Dr. Temple Grandin - Animal Welfare: The Right Thing to Do
May 23 • Victoria Inn, Brandon, MB
- 3rd International Symposium on Beef Cattle Welfare
Jun 5– 7 • Delta Bessborough Hotel, Saskatoon, SK
- 19th World Meat Congress
Jun 4– 6 • Paris, France
- More events - visit www.nfacc.ca/upcoming-events
Addressing Domestic and International Market Expectations Relative to Farm Animal Welfare – a project made possible through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Agricultural-Flexibility Fund.
Thanks to funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Agricultural Flexibility Fund, NFACC is providing the Canadian livestock and poultry value chain with tools to address market challenges, opportunities, and societal expectations relative to animal welfare, through the following activities:
- the development or revision of current Codes of Practice,
- the piloting, testing, and finalization of the Animal Care Assessment Model,
- the communication and promotion of current Canadian farm animal welfare activities.
Questions or comments should be directed to NFACC’s General Manager, Jackie Wepruk at email@example.com