HSUS releases industry scorecard

March 12, 2020

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) issued its first “Food Industry Scorecard: an evaluation of food companies’ progress making and keeping animal welfare promises.”  The report ranks 100 companies based on HSUS’s criteria on progress towards animal welfare commitments.

The report significantly lacks transparency. It indicates a company could score from negative 80 to 210, but nearly all methods and materials used to calculate the scores are absent. The criteria, questions, and collection methods are all critical in understanding the value of the report. Without this information, it can only be viewed as a marketing tool.

Still, there are insights we can gain from the report. HSUS continues its focus on two animal agriculture production practices: cage-free housing for laying hens and gestation crates for sows. They are also digging into the commitments, not just taking them at the surface value.  HSUS even identifies the criteria for a meaningful commitment: a) clear and firm b) time-bound and c) thorough. HSUS calls out several companies that do not have meaningful commitments and even those that have modified their commitments to be less favorable in HSUS’s view. It is clear that HSUS plans to hold  companies accountable that have made commitments and continue to pressure those that have not.