Open Wing Alliance Celebrates Another Year of Progress!
2018 has been an incredible year for animals all over the world, thanks to Open Wing Alliance (OWA)—a global coalition of animal protection organisations established in 2016 by The Humane League. In less than 3 years, OWA's international impact on animal welfare has been significant. And, each passing year continues to bring more and more accomplishments.
This year, OWA grew to consist of 59 of the most effective animal protection groups across six different continents, all working towards the ultimate goal of ending the abuse of chickens everywhere. The first step towards achieving this is by eliminating battery cages from the world, one corporate cage-free policy at a time.
2018 saw much progress towards our goal. Globally, Open Wing Alliance secured 23 cage-free policies from major corporations like Unilever, Four Seasons Hotels, Danone, and Aldi-Sud. Most recently, OWA launched a campaign against Marriott with dozens of OWA groups staging protests and taking actions against the company. In under 48 hours, Marriott caved to the pressure and released a global cage-free policy.
Groups also accomplished a great deal of regional victories, collectively securing 365 cage-free or broiler welfare policies. That's one for every day of the year! These commitments included the very first cage-free policies ever in countries like Greece, Ukraine, Peru, Ecuador, South Africa, Argentina, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.
International and Regional Summits
Corporate commitments aren't the only exciting things that Open Wing Alliance has achieved this year. In April, The Humane League hosted the second annual Global Summit to End Cages for OWA members. 115 activists attended, representing 43 different organisations from 40 countries. During the four day event, members were able to network, attend hands-on training, and brainstorm together on how to make the end of cages a global reality.
Additionally, Open Wing Alliance hosted three Regional Summits to End Cages in Mexico, South Africa, and Brazil. These summits provided space for attendees in those regions to work together on specific barriers they are facing and develop plans for continued collaboration.
The Open Wing Alliance was able to provide programmatic grants to support institutional campaigns on behalf of laying hens. In early 2018, OWA awarded $405,000 to 13 member organisations to support regional corporate campaign work. This was our second official round of grants and we distributed nearly 5 times the amount we did in 2017. Stay tuned because we are preparing to award $480,000 in grants to our member groups in early 2019!
Resources and Training
One of the most important goals of OWA is to provide the tools and training necessary for groups around the world to carry out their own successful corporate campaigns. Our spirit of inclusion and collaboration inspires us to share our playbook and experiences with other groups, in the hopes that it will help them develop their own unique strategy. This year, we developed a Corporate Campaigns Resource Site that houses dozens of resources related to institutional campaigning, including a new, searchable global commitment tracker that lists every cage-free and broiler welfare policy in the world.
Additionally, we have hosted and recorded 6 webinars on relevant topics such as developing online volunteer networks, overcoming obstacles, launching your first cage-free campaign, and more. We've also traveled around the world to provide personalized training on corporate outreach and campaigning for several partner groups in areas such as South Africa, East Asia, and Europe.
As you can tell, it's been a huge year for OWA groups. We're so excited by all of the progress being made for animals globally, and by the people who are making it. And, we're sure that 2019 will hold even more inspiring change. To find out more, watch our end of year video.