In November 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed Morrison's website for the company's policy on animal testing.

The following statement was found, "Morrisons believes that beauty should be cruelty free. We are proud to be Leaping Bunny approved. A global programme, Leaping Bunny requires cruelty free standards over and above legal requirements. All of our own brand cosmetic and personal care products are approved under the Cruelty Free International Leaping Bunny programme, the internationally recognisable gold standard for cruelty free products.

"We adhere to a fixed cut-off date policy and proactively monitor our suppliers to ensure that our products continue to adhere to the Leaping Bunny criteria. Our supplier monitoring system is also independently audited. For more information about Cruelty Free International, Leaping Bunny and Leaping Bunny criteria, please visit www.crueltyfreeinternational.org"

While Morrisons policy was considered to be a positive policy, it also retailed other brands which may contain ingredients which had been tested on animals. Furthermore its animal-testing policy was not stated to extend to products other than those categorised as cosmetic and personal care, for example household care.

Morrisons received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for Animal Testing and lost a whole mark in this category.

Reference:

www.morrisons-corporate.com (13 January 2020)

In November 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed Morrison's website and found that the company sold a range of meat, fish and dairy products. Due to this fact it lost a whole mark under Ethical Consumer's Animal Rights category.

Many of these products were not labelled free-range or organic. The 'Animal Welfare' page on the Morrisons website stated "We take animal welfare seriously, from working with farmers to the point of slaughter. Owning our own abattoirs and being closer to source means we are uniquely placed to meet our customers' expectations of good animal welfare... Over the last few years, we have introduced additional key welfare measures across our fresh livestock supply base. We were the first retailer to require natural light (windows) and environmental enrichment in all housed chicken. We developed our Yearling Beef programme as a sustainable solution for cattle farmers to avoid castration. We responded to the need to avoid dairy bull calves from live export or being shot at birth and process over 30,000 dairy bulls through our abattoirs. Our measures also included us having the first abattoirs in England with colleagues qualified in "Welfare at the time of Killing" standards. In addition we were the first supermarket to insist on CCTV in abattoirs. Our determination to improve standards of animal welfare extends to all products."

Due to the fact that the company sold non-free-range and organic meat products it lost a whole mark under Ethical Consumer's Factory Farming category.

Reference:

www.morrisons-corporate.com (13 January 2020)

In November 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed Morrison's website and found the company sold own-brand honey.

The company's corporate website was searched for a policy on bee welfare. The company's 'Corporate Responsibility Review' 2011/12 stated, “New reports suggest that some pesticides may have an unintended negative impact on bee populations. To start to address this, our controlled pesticide list has been amended to exclude chemicals that may harm bees. More generally, we are also taking a more structured approach to phase out pesticides of concern, such as endosulfan.”

Its 'Corporate Responsibility Review' 2012/13 stated: “Having taken action in 2011 by revising our controlled pesticide list to exclude chemicals that may harm bees, in 2012 we monitored the start of a process for a potential ban in Europe of certain neonicotinoids. These are a specific range of insecticides that have been linked by campaigners to colony collapse disorder of bee populations. We will ensure through our programme that our suppliers are compliant with any regulatory framework emanating from Europe.”

No other policies were found in relation to bee welfare. There was no mention of bee welfare in its Corporate Responsibility Report 2019/20. The only mention on its website in January 2020 was to Project Pollinator, to encourage bee friendly planting at its free range egg suppliers.

Due to bee welfare issues associated with honey production such as bee mutilation and the killing of drones, colonies or brood to ensure maximum honey yield, Ethical Consumer felt it necessary for companies producing honey to have a policy ensuring this was not happening in their supply chain.

The company lost half a mark in the Animal Rights category.

Reference:

www.morrisons-corporate.com (16 January 2019)

In March 2019 Ethical Consumer viewed the 2018 'Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare' (BBFAW) report.

BBFAW was supported by Compassion in World Farming, World Animal Protection and Coller Capital, and aimed to "drive higher farm animal welfare standards in the world’s leading food businesses" by providing "an annual, objective, independent assessment of farm animal welfare management, policy commitment, performance and disclosure in food companies."

The Benchmark assessed company approaches to farm animal welfare on the basis of their published information in four core areas: Management Commitment and Policy; Governance and Management; Leadership and Innovation; Performance Reporting and Impact.

In total, 150 companies were assessed according to their published information and ranked from Tier 1 (indicating companies that have taken a leadership position), down to Tier 6 (farm animal welfare does not appear to be recognised as a business issue).

Morrisons was ranked as 'Tier 2: Integral to Business Strategy', and had moved up one category since the 2017 BBFAW report.

Tiers 1 and 2 in the Benchmark indicated companies that were considered to have farm animal welfare as an integral part of their business strategy.

Ethical Consumer felt that companies rated Tier 3 and below needed to demonstrate more progess before being considered 'leaders' in regard to animal welfare policies and practice. Tier 3-6 companies therefore lost half a mark under the Animal Rights category. Given that Morrissons was rated Tier 2, it did not lose any marks and this story is for information only.

Reference:

Business Benchmark on farm animal welfare (2018)