RSPCA: ‘Good’ business makes sense: 45% say animal welfare is important

RSPCA Good Business Award winners are announced

Winners of RSPCA Good Business Awards really are doing good business according to research showing that nearly half of shoppers say animal welfare is important to them.

In food and grocery analyst IGD’s ShopperTrack research, 45 per cent of shoppers said that the welfare of animals is extremely or very important when it comes to choosing grocery products*.

Good Business Awards food judge, journalist and TV presenter Richard Johnson said: “Good animal welfare now makes real business sense. It also makes a real point-of-difference in a very competitive market place.

“The well-deserving companies who realise this and are already going the extra mile for animal welfare were last night rewarded for their efforts at the RSPCA Good Business Awards ceremony. It’s great to see that companies are recognising their responsibilities and responding to what consumers want.”

Prizes for supermarkets

For the third year running, Co-operative won the most public votes in the People’s Choice award, plus the award for Most Progress. Marks & Spencer received an award for Sustained Excellence, and Sainsbury’s picked up the prize for Excellence in Consumer Communications for its promotion of higher welfare food.

Riverford Organic (farms in Devon, Hampshire, Cambridgeshire and Yorkshire, delivers around the UK) won the Independent Retailer award, while Daylesford Farmshop (Kingham, Gloucestershire) and Edge and Son (New Ferry, Wirral) were highly commended.

Lussmans Fish and Grill Restaurants (St Albans, Hertford, and Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire) won the Independent Restaurant award, while Due South (Brighton) was highly commended. The Feathers Inn (Hedley on the Hill, Northumberland) won the Pubs category for its commitment to animal welfare, including a food festival and expansion into catering. This is the second time they have won this award. Catering company Eco Cuisine was highly commended.

QR codes idea is ‘game changing’

Both large and small fashion companies are also working hard to improve animal welfare.

Designer and co-founder of Red or Dead Wayne Hemingway, an RSPCA Good Business Awards fashion judge, said: “It’s no longer acceptable to sell goods without proving their provenance, as shoppers continue to be concerned about the origin of the items they purchase and the production process behind them.”

High street favourite George at Asda was presented with the Large Company award for its work on traceability, while Beyond Skin scooped the Small Company award for producing desirable, ethical high fashion footwear at an achievable price.

Rapanui was given the Innovation award for its use of QR codes (a type of bar code) on product labels. Customers can scan the tag using a smart phone to view interactive information about the origins of the raw materials in the garment. The judges described the idea as ‘game changing’.

The Best Newcomer award was won by The North Circular and Frank and Faith were highly commended in the Small Company category.

The winners were revealed and awards presented at the RSPCA Good Business Awards evening ceremony at One Marylebone, London, on Wednesday 5 October 2011.


Notes to editors:

— * For further information about the IGD and its ShopperTrack research, please contact IGD senior communications offer Meeta Darji on 01923 851990 or 07950 230455, or email The following quote can also be used:

Ben Miller, head of shopper insight at IGD, said: “Although shoppers are looking for value, they are still interested in maintaining their values and some are prepared to pay for this. The future also looks positive, with nearly a third of shoppers (29 per cent) saying they expect to purchase more free range and high animal welfare products in the year ahead.”

— The RSPCA Good Business Awards reward the food and fashion companies with the best animal welfare policies, and in particular those who are trying to improve and develop their work to improve animal welfare.

— Judges for the fashion category are Lisa Armstrong, Daily Telegraph fashion editor, Wayne Hemingway, designer and co-founder of Red or Dead, and Shelly Vella, fashion director of Cosmopolitan magazine.

Judges for the food category are journalist and TV presenter Richard Johnson, independent food consultant Dr Geoff Spriegel and Prof John Webster, Professor Emeritus at Bristol University.

— For more information about the awards, please visit To find out more about ethical food and fashion, go to


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