UK retailer The Co-operative has announced that from July, all of its own-brand fresh pork, bacon, sausage, gammon and ham will be sourced from outdoor-bred pigs only, raised on RSPCA-assured farms.
The retailer said that this move ‘further bolsters ‘[The Co-op’s] animal welfare credentials’. It is partnering with Tulip, the UK’s largest high-welfare pig producer, for the project.
As a result, pigs within its supply chain will be born outdoors, and raised in spacious, well-ventilated straw barns, in line with RSPCA welfare standards.
The ‘100% outdoor’ promise is to be rolled out across both standard and premium Co-op ranges.
“Our customers and members shop with us because they know we are as passionate as they are about animal welfare, so we’re delighted to be able to bring such a pioneering approach to our pig offering,” said Jo Whitfield, retail chief executive, The Co-operative.
“The highest animal welfare standards should not just be the preserve of top-tier products, and we want to ensure that the very best quality British pork is available at everyday affordable prices. We will be working hard with innovative and passionate British farmers who share our principles, to provide exceptional quality pork produce with a conscience.”
Elsewhere, George Eustice, minister of state at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), welcomed the move, saying “There is growing consumer interest in food provenance, animal welfare and the way food is produced.”
Last May, The Co-operative announced it was to switch all of its own-brand fresh meat to 100% British, as well as commit to a £1 billion investment into sourcing home-grown meat and fresh produce.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine