Factory Farming

The Atlas Challenge

The FOUR PAWS food industry rankings towards animal protein reduction

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The FOUR PAWS Atlas Challenge

FOUR PAWS is taking on companies in the food industry to drive down the production of animal-based food, while increasing plant-based options. With billions of animals being farmed globally in terrible keeping conditions, contributing to the climate crisis, deforestation and the further environmental degradation, it’s imperative that key players in the food industry take responsibility and play their part towards sustainable food systems.

It is estimated that 92.2 billion farmed land animals are used for food (meat, milk and eggs) every year globally; of these, an estimated 83.3 billion are slaughtered for meat1. Approximately around three quarters of farmed land animals are living in factory farms2. Not only does factory farming cause extreme animal suffering but also damage to the environment:

  • Animal agriculture is responsible for roughly one sixth of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions3.
  • The cultivation of animal feed, in particular soya and maize, as well as the land use change from primary forest or other natural landscapes into pasture, are responsible for 67% of deforestation worldwide4.

What FOUR PAWS is asking from the food industry:

FOUR PAWS is asking companies to take responsibility for their impact on farmed animals and the climate and play a positive rather than a destructive role. Companies are beginning to do so by expanding their plant-based range, including meat and dairy alternatives. However, in order for companies to make a truly impactful and progressive difference, their actions must occur on a significantly larger, more transparent and faster scale.

FOUR PAWS expects action and progress from the food industry within the following scopes:  

  • Defining and reporting on a concrete and timebound meat and dairy reduction goal and implementing measures to reach it.
  • Within this reduction goal, meat and dairy should not be compensated for with an increase of other animal proteins.
  • Including a statement highlighting the beneficial impacts of meat and dairy reduction for animal welfare and the climate.
  • Phasing out meat and dairy from factory farming and moving towards products from farms with at least good and eventually excellent animal welfare.
  • Defining a concrete and timebound goal and implementing measures for increasing the vegan offering.
  • Promoting plant-based alternatives through consumer awareness by highlighting animal- and climate-friendly food via various marketing tools.

By assessing the level of effort from leading food industry players compared to their competitors, FOUR PAWS shows where companies stand and encourages them to reassess their goals and strategies.

With meat and dairy production negatively contributing to factory farmed animals and the climate crisis, industries hold a powerful key to deciding the fate of billions of farmed animals and the planet.

It’s Time for the Food Industry to Take Action

And stop contributing to the destruction of the planet!

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The FOUR PAWS Atlas Challenge Rankings

FOUR PAWS conducted rankings depicting the level of effort and performance of the key players within the food industry sector. How does your favourite compare? To help end factory farming and mitigate climate change, will companies prioritize animal protein reduction and increase sustainable plant-based offerings?

Food delivery services

Food Delivery Services

How does your favourite food delivery service compare?

Door is opening to a hotel room

Hotel Companies

Are global hotel companies prioritising meat and dairy reduction as part of their animal welfare and climate action goals?


Chocolate Companies

Which leading chocolate companies focus on animal welfare, climate and binding dairy reduction strategies? 

Basket full of vegetables in a supermarket


Are leading food retailers prioritising meat reduction and increasing plant-based foods?  

Atlas Challenge – Food producers

Food Producers

What are the leading food producers progressive food strategies?

Atlas Challenge – Fast-Food Chains

Fast-Food Chains

How are the fast-food chains* performing when it comes to meat and fish reduction and increasing plant-based food?

Atlas Challenge – International Fast-Food Chains

International Fast-Food Chains

How do the headquarters of key international fast-food chains compare to their locations in other countries?

Animal Charity

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Highlighting a business benchmark on the strategies towards animal- and climate-friendly nutrition


Did You Know?


of agricultural land is used for livestock, and 23% for crops.(5)

>0 billion

farmed land animals (excluding aquatics) are used for food every year globally(6), of which three quarters live in factory farms. (7


of global greenhouse gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture. (8)


If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact us at: TheAtlasChallenge@four-paws.org 

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