Letter from the Founder
In its eleventh year Farm Forward has continued to play a unique role in the farmed animal protection and anti-factory farming movements. As the first national organization in the U.S. to focus exclusively on factory farming, we have, like others, always worked for immediate incremental improvements for animals, but our deeper strategy points beyond mitigation—beyond just stopping cruelty—to strike at the roots of factory farming. This translates to a rigorous focus on strategic innovation: both improving tried and true techniques like animal welfare certification and pioneering new approaches like our faith-based advocacy and partnerships with Indian farmers.
We see a future, not so far off, where plant-based meat has replaced most factory farmed animal products, and where the animal products that are consumed are produced on farms where animals have robust lives worth living, where farmers are treated with dignity, and which help regenerate the environment. In this future, food businesses will demonstrate their commitment to humane and sustainable farming through transparent partnerships with thirdparty certifications like the industry-leading Global Animal Partnership (GAP) 5-step Animal Welfare Program. This report lays out the progress we have made toward this future in 2018. Under the headings Changing Policy, Changing Farming, and Changing Narrative, you will read about how our Leadership Circle is benefiting millions of animals, how our support of GAP is benefiting hundreds of millions more, how we helped bring the Eating Animals documentary narrated by Natalie Portman to the big screen, and how our team is launching and accelerating entirely new organizations like the Better Food Foundation.
2018 also saw the first major leadership transitions in Farm Forward’s history. Our founding Executive Director, Ben Goldsmith, has transitioned his role to focus more exclusively on strategy development. And 5-year Farm Forward veteran, Andrew deCoriolis, has taken the helm as Executive Director, bringing new energy and vision.
Farm Forward also made major changes to its board, welcoming four new members who bring decades of experience and new gender and ethnic diversity to our leadership. The entire staff of Farm Forward has taken very seriously the problems with harassment and discrimination that have limited the effectiveness of the anti-factory farming movement, and we proactively brought in an independent consultant to facilitate ongoing work on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Anonymous interviews and polling done by our consultant demonstrate that our staff both believe Farm Forward to be a leader on these issues and to have the potential to do even more (we’re proud to share the consultant’s summary report on our website). We believe that the future of the anti-factory farming movement depends on a deepening appreciation of the interlocking nature of oppressions, and we will play our part in building a broader and more diverse movement.
The truth is that no organization yet knows the royal road to ending factory farming, and this is precisely why Farm Forward believes so strongly in a focus on strategy. Our charge is to make an immediate difference for animals in the here and now, while laying the groundwork for the transformation of the way we eat and farm in the future.
We could do none of this work without your support. We have no endowment and raise the funds we operate with each year. Thank you to all of our longstanding supporters and thank you for taking the time to read more about our work.
With your help, we will win!
Aaron S. Gross
Founder & CEO
Download the report