The RSPCA is calling on pubs and restaurants around the UK to enter its 2009 Good Business Awards, which recognise ethical business approaches to animal welfare.
The charity is looking for operators that have set out to source their meat, fish and dairy from providers that maintain high animal welfare, covering living conditions, transport, slaughter methods, labelling or farm inspections.
New for the restaurant category is a pub award to recognise the growing number of pubs across the country whose menus feature animal derived produce, sourced from farms and fisheries where high welfare standards are a priority.
David Bowles, RSPCA head of external affairs said: "Our research has shown that consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the welfare of the meat, fish and dairy produce they eat. The economic downturn doesn't seem to have greatly affected ethical consumerism and there is still a real demand for cruelty-free cuisine."
Companies entering the restaurant category will be judged on the basis of their practices in the following areas:
- Welfare of beef, dairy cattle, chickens bred for meat, laying hens, pigs, sheep and farmed fish
- Live transport of animals
- Slaughter methods
- Policies to ensure the restaurant does not sell foie gras or white veal
- Import of meat and eggs from other countries
- Farm inspection.
- Policies to phase out the use of whole cage eggs and cage eggs as ingredients by 2012
Last year's restaurant winners were McDonald's in the chain category, recognised for its improved animal welfare policies; The Norway Inn, Truro, which won best independent restaurant; and Restaurant Alimentum, Cambridge, which also picked up an award for innovation in the field of animal welfare.
The winners will be announced at an awards dinner at One Marylebone London on 7 October.
By Daniel Thomas
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