Kering develops standards for animal welfare in luxury

May 18, 2019 - France

In line with its policy to open-source its sustainability practices, global luxury group Kering has published its new animal welfare standards to ensure and verify the humane treatment of animals across the group’s supply chains. The Kering Animal Welfare Standards cover all the species around the world that are part of the Group’s supply chains.

The Kering Animal Welfare Standards are the first-ever set of full standards covering animal welfare for luxury and fashion and aim to drive positive change in industry practices, and beyond.

The first phase of the standards launched includes detailed requirements for the treatment of cattle, calves, sheep and goats throughout their entire lives, as well as guidelines for abattoirs. Developed over three years with input from animal welfare experts, farmers and herders, scientists and NGOs, the standards are based on the latest scientific research as well as legislation, comparative standards, best management practices and guidelines from different sectors, Kering said in a press release.

“Improving the welfare of animals must be an imperative for our industry and Kering wants to amplify the focus of attention from a few species to all of the animals, including livestock, within fashion’s global supply chains,” said Marie-Claire Daveu, chief sustainability officer and head of international institutional affairs, Kering. “Reflecting François-Henri Pinault’s vision, our standards are aligned with our commitment to a holistic approach to sustainability, which means having best practices that encompass animals in our supply chains, wildlife around them and biodiversity conservation more broadly. We hope for widespread adoption of the standards through collaborating with our suppliers, our peers in luxury, the fashion industry at large, and with the food sector, in these shared supply chains to ultimately shift how we, as a society, treat animals and nature.”

Kering’s standards feature a number of requirements for animal management that would significantly improve the welfare of animals in countries around the world if they were adopted by the industry more broadly. Kering has been piloting the standards on the ground with farms in different regions and will continue to work closely with the farmers to support further implementation.

Talking of the standards, they are structured in Bronze, Silver and Gold tiers to provide clear guidance on critical compliance and with the expectation that the group’s suppliers will make continuous improvements. "At the Bronze entry level, the standards reflect minimum requirements, which equal, and in some cases go beyond, European legislation. Notably, the Kering Animal Welfare Standards are advocating that the good practices entrenched in the European Union are implemented on an international scale, which is already a substantial improvement in many countries that have little or no animal welfare regulations in place. At the highest Gold level, the standards are setting the bar for best-in-class practices that can fundamentally transform the industry. Some of these requirements include: prohibiting feedlots and intensive farming in favor of pasture-rearing for better quality of life; promoting regenerative grazing and avoiding food competition with sources of human nutrition, which is a growing concern given the world’s increasing population; strict limitations on transport; ensuring welfare for working farm animals; and prohibiting the use of sub-therapeutic antibiotic treatments which avoids the unnecessary contribution to the rise of anti-microbial resistance that is threatening human health," added the release. (RR)