30 September 2020

GCAW APPOINTS DR BIRTE NIELSEN AS INDEPENDENT CHAIR

Birte Nielsen

The Global Coalition for Animal Welfare (GCAW), the world’s first industry-led collaboration aimed at advancing animal welfare throughout the global food supply chain, has appointed Dr Birte Nielsen as Independent Chair. 

Dr Nielsen is an internationally recognised expert in animal behaviour science and welfare, with more than three decades’ experience of leading research, advising governments and informing global advancements in this field. She is currently the Assistant Scientific Director of the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare – and the Humane Slaughter Association, and will fulfil the role of GCAW Chair independently of this position.

As Independent Chair for GCAW, Dr Nielsen will work closely with the Coalition’s members and Secretariat, acting as an arbiter to help GCAW realise its objectives.

Nicky Amos, Executive Director of GCAW said: “Since its launch in 2018, GCAW has made progress in defining its focus areas and laid firm foundations for realising its ambitions for future change. Today, animal welfare and its relationship with food safety, quality and supply chain resilience is high on the agenda for companies, investors and consumers. There is a very real opportunity to make significant advancements through the kind of steadfast collaboration, leadership and action that GCAW is committed to. Birte’s deep scientific knowledge and global vision, combined with her natural leadership qualities leaves me in no doubt that she will play a pivotal role in bridging the gap between science and industry and ensuring the Coalition’s success.  We are delighted to welcome her as Chair”.

Dr Birte Nielsen said: “The shadow cast by the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the social, environmental and ethical consequences of global food supply chains, in which animal welfare is a significant factor. Linked to this, collaboration is the key to realising a future food system that is more resilient, safer, fairer and healthier both for humans and for the billions of animals farmed for food every year.

I am proud to join GCAW at a time when momentum and member commitment is strong and look forward to the contribution I can make in helping this impressive global platform realise animal welfare improvements that are important, concrete and considerable.”

GCAW was founded in 2018 by seven global food business leaders: Aramark, Compass Group, Elior Group, IKEA Food Services, Nestlé, Sodexo and Unilever who together account for combined revenues of approximately US$245bn. Its members are committed to collectively addressing systemic barriers to improving animal welfare, accelerating the development of standards and driving progress on key welfare issues.

Link to Media Release Dated 30th September 2020