Germany launched its “Initiative Tierwohl” (Animal Welfare Initiative) last year with the aim of improving production conditions for pigs and poultry.
The Animal Welfare Initiative shows it is possible for retailers to come together to promote change across the industry. However, there are a number of issues within the initiative that are serving to limit the magnitude of welfare improvement, while creating confusion among consumers. Resolving these issues and raising welfare standards even higher will be critical to the program’s continued success.
One problem is that more producers qualify to participate than the initiative has funds to support. As a result, only half of the qualified producers who applied have been accepted.
Another concern relates to inconsistencies between the program’s criteria, on the one side, and the purchasing policies of slaughterhouses and retailers on the other.
A further challenge is the lack of consumer transparency. Conscientious consumers are the driving force behind retailers’ demands for higher welfare standards, but the initiative provides no consumer labeling.
Read more to learn how the initiative provides a positive example to meet growing demands for animal welfare.