Animal Welfare Instincts
Many grocers tout animal welfare among their corporate responsibility activities. One important way that food retailers can demonstrate their commitment to this cause is through the sourcing of products.
“American Humane works directly with grocers and food manufacturers to grow and develop American Humane Certified brands,” says Robin R. Ganzert, Ph.D., president and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based American Humane. “One example is [Ahold Delhaize] supermarket chain Giant [Landover], which sources cage-free eggs from American Humane Certified producers, and recently began putting the American Humane Certified logo on their private-branded cage-free eggs. Steps like this help welfare-conscious consumers seek out products that meet the science-based standards of animal welfare of American Humane.”
Retailers offering humanely produced items on their shelves will draw the traffic – and dollars – of these concerned shoppers. “Third-party independent-verification programs provide the peace of mind and confidence that ethically driven consumers desire in order to spend their disposable income on products that align with their beliefs and values,” observes Ganzert. “Grocers that take part in independent animal welfare-auditing programs often see increased interest from consumers while establishing themselves as progressive industry leaders.”
The reason for a grocer to collaborate with a trusted organization in the field, such as American Humane, rather than going it alone, is that such a partnership raises a company’s credibility in the eyes of the shopper, according to Ganzert. “Consumers have become increasingly skeptical of private businesses, which is why they often fail to accept welfare assurances based on self-evaluation,” she asserts. “In response, grocers have turned to independent auditing programs to verify the humane treatment of animals. Ethical principles have a direct impact on purchasing power, which is why consumer-conscious grocers continue to incorporate humane animal treatment into their corporate responsibility programs.”
For more about grocers’ corporate responsibility efforts, read the article in the November 2017 issue of Progressive Grocer.