Retail Partners and gastronomy

The Animal Welfare Initiative was founded in 2015 as an association of food retailers, farmers and meat industry partners. To date, the system has been financed by participating food retailers through a fund. Under the new financing scheme, retailers will no longer pay into a fund for fattened pigs and poultry. Instead, animal welfare premiums will be tied to the exchange of goods, as is customary in a market economy. Online retailers and gastronomy partners as well as food retailers are invited to participate in the scheme.

Conditions of participation

In the long term, better animal welfare can only be achieved through a market-based solution. This is the only economically viable solution if the successful Animal Welfare Initiative scheme is to be continued in the long term.

With the switch to a market-based solution, all retailers and gastronomy partners involved will pay suppliers a price premium for identified pork and poultry meat. Suppliers in turn pass the premium on along the value creation chain all the way through to the livestock farmer. Participants in the scheme pay the parent company operating the Animal Welfare Initiative a participation fee based on the volume of meat and meat products sold in kilos.

Changes for pig welfare

However, the fund-based solution will not be discarded altogether, as it will continue to be applied for piglet rearing for the time being. Piglet producing farms will continue to receive separate, fund-based financial support in order to integrate them more closely into the initiative. The fund will be financed directly by retailers and gastronomy partners, and it will operate in exactly the same manner as the existing scheme.

From 2023 onwards, piglet rearing will be transitioned to both the identity system and the market-based solution. To support this process, a “transition fund” will be available from 2021 onwards in order to establish closed “AWI supply chains” between sow farming and piglet rearing businesses as a first step.