The winners of the inaugural awards were revealed at a Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) conference - ‘China and EU Collaboration on Pig Welfare’ - on Wednesday (24 Wednesday), in London.
Eight of the winners were given their awards at the event in Westminster as part of a UK study tour of British pig farms. The awards will also be presented at the 2014 China Animal Welfare Forum in Beijing, on 11 October.
Xi Chunling, executive president, International Cooperation Committee of Animal Welfare (ICCAW), said that 3,000 application forms had been sent out, with 62 companies submitting an entry to the awards. From those entries thirteen winners were chosen, including some of the country’s largest pig producers.
In order to be eligible for the awards, producers needed to meet five basic requirements, which focus on: group housing of sows in the gestation period, providing pigs with a suitable environment (including temperature control and hygiene), as well as meeting several stipulated food safety requirements.
CIWF has worked with ICCAW over the past year, developing the criteria, and assessing the applicants. Producers were scored from one to five stars, depending on how the number of criteria met, either as a current policy or commitment within five years, and include: no tail docking, no teeth clipping, no confinement of sows throughout life (including farrowing crates), and the provision of manipulable material and bedding throughout life.
Philip Lymbery, chief executive, CIWF, said the attitude of Chinese people to animal welfare was changing. "The connection between how farm animals are kept and the quality and safety of the resulting food is starting to be recognised in China. It provides us with a real foot in the door to help promote less intensive farming in this, the most populous country on earth."
Dr Tracey Jones, director of food business at CIWF, added: "We are delighted to work with ICCAW to launch the Good Pig Production Awards in China. They represent a first step at tackling the welfare issues and standards for pigs in China, to help ebb the flow towards the highly intensive systems and practices that many producers and food companies are turning away from in places like Western Europe, Australia and the US."
1. Hebei Xinlaonong Husbandry Technology Co. Ltd.
2. Jiangsu Donghai Breeder Farm
3. Shanxi Baicaopo Agriculture Ecologist Science Center Co., Ltd.
4. Yanbian Jincunzhang Wild Animal Production Farm
5. Shandong Huashengjiangquan Agri-Husbandry Development Co. Ltd.
6. Beijing Qingquanwan Pig Production Co. Ltd.
7. Guangdong Dexing Breeders Co. Ltd.
8. Guangdong Yihao Food Co. Ltd.
9. Guilin Waiangjiaguo Agriculture New Tech Development Co. Ltd.
10. Baoding Wangshengminda Livestock Production Co. Ltd.
11. Sanmenxia Chuying Agri-husbandry Co., Ltd
12. Beijing Taixinfumin Pig Production Co. Ltd.
13. Guangdong Yingnong Agriculture and Husbandry Co., Ltd