Farm Forward Consulting
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The cutting edge of advocacy for farmed animals is not about proclaiming a philosophy or advancing a new system of ethics. Rather, the preeminent challenge is pragmatically working to align the needs of corporations for efficiency and profitability with production methods that foster sustainability and animal welfare.
At the same time, improvements for animals are increasingly dependent on scientific and technical expertise, appreciation of broad cultural trends, marketing savvy, and an ability to work with corporate executives within the terms dictated by market forces. Perhaps more than ever before, good intentions are not enough. Improving the lives of animals in the information age requires street smarts, business savvy, technical expertise, and care.
Farm Forward’s consulting services fill the gap between good intentions and specialized knowledge and provide access to the influential individuals who make the dramatic improvements for farmed animals we now see possible. Unlike most advocacy groups, we consider it a victory if we can assist other groups in winning campaigns and improving their overall effectiveness.
Farm Forward has been absolutely essential to building PETA's ability to influence and negotiate effectively with corporations—Steve Gross [Farm Forward's Chairman] has provided thousands of hours of pro bono consultation over more than 10 years, and without his input and selfless dedication, some of the greatest victories for farmed animals in U.S. history would not have happened." -Bruce Friedrich, Vice President, PETA
With all our services—negotiation, management assistance, public relations, ethical marketing, mediation, and auditing development—we bring our unique relationships with the executive leadership of major advocacy organizations, corporations, and community leaders to bear.
Our consulting services are available to any group working to improve animal well-being. We provide pay services at just slightly over our actual cost to organizations that can afford to pay. Any income from these services is used to offer pro bono services to underfunded or distressed organizations. All our work serves a single constituency: the animals themselves. Our ability to improve the lives of animals is the single criterion we use in selecting projects. Please contact us if you'd like more information.
We do not charge for our mediation services, which can be initiated by any party involved in a conflict where animal welfare is at stake.
In partnership with leading animal protection organizations, Farm Forward’s executive staff have led negotiations with some of the world’s largest companies (including Burger King, KFC, McDonald’s, Safeway, and Wendy’s) to broker significant animal welfare improvements on industrial farms. We always work with corporations on their own terms. By helping advocates identify what kinds of changes are practically possible and demonstrating to corporations the specific, measurable ways in which good animal welfare is good business, animal well-being is improved at the fastest possible rate. With public scrutiny focusing more and more on farming practices, companies committed to high animal welfare standards have a growing advantage in the marketplace. We help advocacy organizations leverage this new consumer environment in ways that are not only palatable but exciting to clear-sighted corporations.
Drawing on 25 years of experience in for-profit consulting for Fortune 500 and 1000 companies, plus more than 15 years working in animal advocacy, Farm Forward’s executive staff will work with organizations of any size to address management problems, assist in leadership transitions, reduce costs, and improve organizational infrastructure. We help organizations develop realistic goals for deliverables and identify the most aggressive possible timetable to meet them. We work with you to identify creative ways to reduce costs through “guerilla” marketing, cost-saving new technologies, and partnerships we identify through our network. We can help you find new executive leadership, build a corporate affairs department, improve the cohesion and vibrancy of your existing team, or achieve a one-time campaign goal.
Public Relations and Ethical Marketing
Having a message worth sharing is much easier than finding a way to deliver it. Our executive staff are experts in low-cost, high-tech marketing strategies that use online social networking, online activism, guerilla marketing, and PR techniques to achieve results that often surpass traditional, costly marketing methods such as paid advertisements and PR firms. We have experience reaching wide demographics using a variety of media, and we have successfully executed local, national, and international marketing and PR campaigns. From marketing plans to media training, ad buys to viral videos, Farm Forward provides comprehensive support to organizations that stand to improve the lives of farmed animals.
Through our network of experts, advocacy organizations, corporate executives, and religious leaders, Farm Forward is uniquely positioned to mediate conflict and bring disputes over treatment of animals to resolution for the sake of all involved. Whereas our other consulting services are intended specifically for individuals and nonprofit clients, any party wishing to resolve an existing dispute can initiate our mediation services. Using systematic, proven conflict-resolution techniques, Farm Forward is able to provide valuable resources at every stage in the process of conflict mediation and resolution.
Farm Forward does not provide any auditing services for verifying animal welfare on farms or in slaughterhouses, but we can assist in developing auditing practices and procedures that will pass muster with animal advocacy organizations, protect businesses from the unethical practices of suppliers, and lead to the best possible implementation of animal welfare standards. Our longstanding work with quality-assurance personnel, animal scientists, auditors, and executive leadership at some of the nation’s largest food retailers has given us firsthand knowledge of the challenges involved in effective auditing at every level. We have a special interest in helping advocacy organizations and businesses targeted by their campaigns to agree on auditing procedures that satisfy both parties, provide the best possible improvements in animal well-being, and end embarrassing media exposure. When it comes to taking measurable steps to improve the lives of animals, we find that there is always common ground.
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