The search is on for restaurants, pubs and caterers that have animal welfare at the heart of their business, following the launch of this year's RSPCA Good Business Awards.
The awards, launched today, aim to reward food service businesses both big and small for their animal welfare standards in two categories: "Caterers" and "Restaurants and Pubs".
There will be 12 winners in each of the categories, with judges looking for businesses that have a policy on ethical sourcing, such as using eggs from non-caged hens (organic or free range), free range or organic chickens for meat, and meat from pigs reared organically outdoors.
Winners will be promoted on the RSPCA Good Business Awards website and achievements will be detailed in a consumer guide to choosing higher-welfare companies.
The RSPCA will only accept applications from restaurants, pubs and caterers that:
● Do not sell or serve foie gras.
● Do not sell or serve white veal.
● Only sell or serve meat from animals that have been pre-stunned before slaughter.
Businesses can enter the competition on the RSPCA's website.
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 marketplace."
The RSPCA's Freedom Food scheme (its own higher-welfare scheme) has reported a 52% increase in animals farmed under their welfare label over the past five years.
Latest available figures from RSPCA show a rise in animal numbers reared under Freedom Food from around 49 million at the end of 2006, to more than 75 million at the end of last year.
Pictured: The RSPCA used a giant chicken made out of recycled cardboard and created by sculptor Mark O'Brien to spread the word about the Good Business Awards in London - walking from Cock Lane to Abbey Road.
By Neil Gerrard
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