GCAW Members Meeting, February 2024

Global Coalition for Animal Welfare

A quarterly meeting for all members of the Global Coalition for Animal Welfare took place on 7th February 2024.

At this meeting, members were joined by guests from the Brussels-based Association of Poultry Processors and Poultry Trade in the EU Countries (AVEC). AVEC represents 19 national association members from 17 countries which covers 95% of all poultry meat produced in the EU.

Birthe Steenberg, Paul-Henri Lava, Nadia Khaldoune and Maria Nikolaidi from AVEC briefed members on its role, consumer purchasing trends and the key challenges that the European animal protein industry is facing.

Attendees heard how the organisation’s Sustainability Charter aims to address these challenges by balancing three pillars: how to decrease the industry’s environmental impact, how to keep meat affordable, and how to improve animal welfare. Notably, AVEC is calling for outcome-based key welfare indicator monitoring and communication of results through supply chains to help drive continuous improvement.

This presentation prompted discussion on the role that GCAW and its members could play in supporting producers and producer associations, such as AVEC, in working through some of these challenges, with collaboration and communication highlighted as critical to advancing animal welfare.

Further updates were given on recent meetings of GCAW’s Steering Committee and its current Working Groups. Three new publications were highlighted:

  • Knowledge Share: GCAW Cage Free Eggs Global Landscape Review – a research-based report on the availability of cage-free eggs globally, together with an analysis of challenges per region and recommendations for progress.
  • Member Briefing: GCAW Alternatives to Male Chick Culling – an advisory paper providing members with an overview of methods currently available to move away from the practice.
  • Knowledge Share: Implementing Animal Welfare Commitments – GCAW Member Experiences – a case-study-led best practice guide, due for publication shortly.

Looking ahead, the GCAW Secretariat hopes to announce a new independent chair shortly. It is also interested in hearing from potential new member companies interested in joining the coalition to contribute to GCAW’s vision and mission. Finally, more expert briefings are being planned to facilitate deeper engagement and collaboration worldwide on key welfare issues.

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