Advocacy | Animal Welfare | Sustainability

RCC renewing focus on animal welfare through the National Farm Animal Care Council’s multilateral approach

March 29, 2021

Retail Council of Canada (RCC) and its grocery members are committed to advancing animal welfare in Canada. To further this commitment, RCC is renewing and revamping its approach to focus on multi-stakeholder collaborative processes for decision-making, supporting the wide variety of comprehensive animal care Codes of Practices developed under the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC).

NFACC is the only group in the world that brings together animal welfare groups, retailers, government, veterinarians, academics, and farmers under a science-informed and consensus-based decision-making model for advancing farm animal welfare. RCC sits on NFACC’s Board of Directors, and RCC grocery members are represented and actively participate in the development of NFACC Codes. Codes of Practice developed through NFACC promote sound management and welfare practices through recommendations and requirements for housing, care, transportation, processing, and other husbandry practices.

RCC will pursue and make commitments solely through NFACC, thus removing previous commitments on sow housing and cage-free eggs, and RCC members will continue to make independent decisions on which products they source. While RCC is committed to ongoing dialogue with animal rights groups, academics, farmers, and other industry partners both within and outside of NFACC, experience has taught that stakeholders are best able to influence change collaboratively because of the support and participation of all parties involved. 

The industry has made significant progress in advancing animal welfare in recent years, and this work is ongoing:

RCC and its grocery members support farmers in these and future commitments, are committed to continue working with all stakeholders through the collaborative decision-making process of NFACC to further advance animal welfare in Canada.

NFACC welcomes RCC’s commitment to renew its focus on NFACC’s Code development process. NFACC brings together diverse stakeholder groups to review and improve industry practices as they relate to animal welfare. The Code process involves the incorporation of available science and identifies areas where further research is needed; as well it provides a framework for Code based auditing. The Codes provide guidance to industry and assurances to the Canadian public regarding continual efforts and support mechanisms related to ongoing improvements in the welfare of production animals.

Jackie Wepruk, NFACC General Manager

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