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The FARMS Initiative

The FARMS (Farm Animal Responsible Minimum Standards) Initiative is a coalition established to provide support and guidance that encourages financial institutions to adopt policies that positively influence animal welfare.

Adopting strong animal welfare policies can lead to:

  • Fewer animals suffering in agricultural systems

  • Enhanced risk mitigation

  • Enhanced return potential

  • Improved alignment with ESG/sustainability efforts


Financial institutions have a number of mechanisms by which they can influence the companies they finance, advise, invest in, or insure, and they’re uniquely positioned to make lasting change.

They can do this by safeguarding welfare, shifting proteins and supporting solutions.

Safeguard welfare

Protect and enhance the welfare of farm animals throughout the entire food supply chain. Include animal welfare in ESG efforts.

Shift proteins

Shift proteins away from animal-based products toward plant-based food and alternative proteins.

Support solutions

Enhance or create sustainable financing vehicles/programs and encourage responsible business conduct.


Founding organizations

The FARMS Initiative was founded by Compassion in World FarmingHumane Society International and World Animal Protection, three global animal protection organizations. Each organization has consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, liaison status with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and is part of the International Coalition for Farm Animal Welfare (ICFAW), which represents non-governmental animal welfare organizations at the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH).


Compassion in World Farming was founded over 50 years ago by a farmer in the United Kingdom who was concerned about how intensive livestock farming was becoming. Compassion in World Farming believes that farm animals should be reared, transported and slaughtered to good standards of animal welfare. The organisation has offices in the United States, Brussels, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Poland and The Netherlands, and has representatives in China, Ukraine, South Africa, the Czech Republic, Spain, Greece and Sweden. Compassion in World Farming’s Food Business team engages with retailers, food manufacturers and food service companies, building trusting and supportive relationships. Through the Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards, the organisation recognises food companies for their current policies or commitments that result in positive impacts on farm animal welfare across their supply chains.

Humane Society International is the international affiliate of the Humane Society of the United States, based in Washington D.C. With staff and consultants in more than 50 countries, Humane Society International works on a variety of issues, including advancing farm animal welfare, curtailing and eliminating painful animal testing, stopping wildlife abuse, protecting street animals and responding to natural disasters. Since 1991, the organisation has been working for the protection of all animals through the use of science, advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Members of Humane Society International’s farm animal welfare team engage with public and private financial institutions in a variety of countries, including Brazil, Canada, the European Union, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, the United Kingdom and Vietnam.

World Animal Protection, established in 1981, is active in more than 50 countries and works with consumers, corporations, financial institutions and governments to move the world to protect animals. The organisation is headquartered in London with offices around the world, including in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Kenya, The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Thailand, India, China, Australia and New Zealand. World Animal Protection focuses on animals in farming, animals in the wild, animals in disasters and animals in communities. In The Netherlands, World Animal Protection is a member of the Fair Finance Guide, and is part of the government-initiated Corporate Social Responsibility agreements with the insurance and pension fund sector.

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