We are delighted that Ruth Layton, current Chair of the Food Ethics Council, has been announced as the recipient of the British Veterinary Association’s (BVA) prestigious Chiron Award. This is in recognition of the distinctive contributions and achievements she has made driving progress in farm animal welfare within the supply chains of some of the world’s most influential food brands. Ruth uses her expansive knowledge of farm animal welfare and sustainability best practice to drive tangible progress in livestock farming systems.

Ruth started her career as a mixed animal vet and is cofounding director of international food chain sustainability business Benchmark Holdings. She has been a Trustee of the Food Ethics Council since October 2015, taking over the position of Chair in April 2017, as part of an innovative six-month rotation for the post of Chair of Trustees.

On hearing that she was to receive the Chiron Award, Ruth commented:

I am truly honoured to receive this award from the BVA. It is recognition of the hard work, determination and bravery of the individuals I have worked with over the years to challenge the status quo in the food chain. There was a recognition of the urgent need to improve food production systems, particularly animal welfare, and I knew this could only be made the norm if we were to collaborate with some of the world’s biggest organisations. Thus we founded FAI Farms and the wider Benchmark Group and I’m proud to see the results in practice. The journey towards a sustainable food chain continues and I look forward to contributing in the years to come with a key focus on the shift from consumerism to citizenship.

The Food Ethics Council has long worked to ensure that farm animal welfare issues are included in debates about food and farming systems. We will be announcing new work soon, that focuses specifically on putting farm animal welfare on a level footing with other sustainability concerns.