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Accountability has proven key to the success of every justice movement creating systemic change. In the landmark year of 2022 Farm Forward stepped up our work to hold producers, retailers and labels accountable to the basic values most Americans share about the food they purchase.
In April, our anti-humanewashing campaign made national headlines with the publication of our major investigation into antibiotic and other drug residues in animal products marketed as “raised without antibiotics.” In August, our testing data was used in a class action lawsuit alleging that a major natural food retailer is deceiving the public by marketing meat as “raised without antibiotics.”
In November we released our second annual survey of consumer beliefs, confirming that what shoppers believe is wildly out of sync with the reality of farmed animals’ lives—even when it comes to the most trusted labels and retailers. I gave twenty TV and radio interviews about our survey results, appearing on Fox and ABC, and in the New York Post.
When I look at the history and successes of the movement to end factory farming I’m encouraged by the progress we are seeing—both in public attitudes and in tangible policies.
As Farm Forward has gone public with our accountability work, allies have asked me why we don’t just focus on the worst-of-the-worst companies, and why we would focus attention on the companies that market themselves as “better” alternatives. The answer is simple—we do this because, over and over, American consumers tell us that they expect better from the meat industry than what labels and regulators currently require. Dozens of consumer surveys, including our own, show that Americans overwhelmingly oppose factory farming, and are willing to find and pay for animal products from farms that raise animals under more humane conditions. So shouldn’t we as farmed animal advocates at the very least demand what consumers expect?
And, personally, I do this because to get up every day and fight for farmed animals, I need to have hope in the possibility of systemic change, change that points to the end of factory farming. Getting there starts with telling the truth.
Onward and forward,
Andrew deCoriolis, Executive Director
Farm Forward generated unprecedented media coverage in 2022 on topics including pandemics, humanewashing, and the cattle industry’s contribution to drought. In February, the New York Times published our Letter to the Editor responding to their video series on the modern poultry industry. Our letter marked the first time the New York Times published the term humanewashing in its 170-year history. The following week, the New York Times quoted our Executive Director, Andrew deCoriolis, in its article about avian flu.
Farm Forward’s reports, videos, and ad campaigns led to many media outlets covering the topic of humanewashing for the first time in national print and TV news. Dozens of news outlets directly covered our antibiotics investigation and related lawsuit, including Forbes, National Public Radio, Fox Business, CBS, ABC, The Kitchn, the Washington Times, and Food & Wine magazine. The lawsuit news was also picked up by the Reuters wire service and republished in 300+ outlets, including U.S. News, Apple News, and Yahoo News, as well as insider meat industry and legal media like Meat & Poultry magazine, Food Safety News, MeatingPlace magazine, topclassactions.com, Law360, and JDSupra.com. The story’s total global reach was estimated at nearly one billion people.
In November Andrew conducted a national media tour, and was featured in 20 TV and radio interviews generating 1,892 stories on both broadcast and online across the country.
Andrew warned the public about the ongoing threat of humanewashing and bird flu, raised awareness of the growing trend to serve more plant-based foods for the holidays, and explained how consumers are being deceived by welfare labels, as revealed in Farm Forward’s consumer surveys.
In 2022 the Jewish Initiative for Animals published four Op-Eds and its campaign about humanewashing in kosher industries was featured in Jewish and mainstream media. The news coverage focused on the humanewashing campaign (which has been supported by 250 leading rabbis), JIFA’s research revealing the faulty consumer perception that kosher is better for animals, as well as JIFA’s drug testing research that included positive results for drug residue in chicken products from the largest kosher poultry producer, Empire Kosher.
35+ villages in India received free and subsidized veterinary care and animal welfare education through Farm Forward’s grants in 2022, improving the lives of hundreds of farmers and thousands of animals.
1,700+ individuals were reached by 12 educational presentations to faith-based communities in 2022, led by Farm Forward’s Jewish Initiative for Animals (JIFA) alone and in collaboration with multi-faith outreach partners.
20K+ high school and college students have participated in our classroom Virtual Visit events with author Jonathan Safran Foer and other speakers since they began in 2012.
1M+ views of our videos on humanewashing, antibiotics, USDA standards, consumer deception, and animal welfare labels took place in 2022.
856M+ people globally in 2022 were reached by media stories featuring Farm Forward’s work, building unprecedented public awareness about humanewashing, the role of industrial animal agriculture in pandemics, and farmed animal welfare.
$1.1B+ in food spend is annually impacted by the Good Food Purchasing Program, in 20 cities and counties, with 60 school districts, municipalities, and other large institutions enrolled across the United States; Farm Forward led the coalition that developed GFPP’s animal welfare and meat reduction standards Version 3.0, to be released in early 2023.