Seven major food companies have combined efforts to form the Global Coalition for Animal Welfare (GCAW), a group aimed to advance animal welfare standards throughout the global food supply chain.

Companies involved in forming GCAW include Aramark, Nestlé, Compass Group, Elior Group, IKEA Food Services, Sodexo and Unilever. The seven companies have combined revenues of US$165 billion, and serve 37 billion customers per day.

GCAW is the world’s first global food industry-led collaboration uniting major companies and animal welfare experts working towards improving standard for animals at scale to meet consumer demand for food products from animals reared in systems that promote good welfare. 

By building relationships with like-minded stakeholders, the coalition aims to collectively address current systemic barriers to change, share best practices as well as accelerate the development of standards and progress on key welfare issues, Nestlé stated in a press release.

GCAW, according to a press release from Aramark, has the following ambitions:

  1. Providing a platform for food companies to work more closely with farm animal welfare experts to identify common objectives and drive improvements;
  2. Prioritizing welfare issues and developing roadmaps for industry change while supporting producers in implementing strong animal welfare practices;
  3. Advancing animal welfare knowledge globally through industry insights, bespoke research and partnerships for action. GCAW members have identified five priority work streams: cage-free policies, improved broiler chicken welfare, farmed fish welfare, antimicrobial resistance, and global standards for transportation and slaughter.

Working with a group of multi-disciplinary experts from academia, industry and civil society, GCAW aims to publish an agenda for change during 2019.