Portuguese supermarket chains Continente and Pingo Doce have received international animal welfare certifications for their own-brand meat products.
Continente received the certification for its meat sold under the Aberdeen-Angus Continente and Limousine Continente brands. It is applicable throughout the production chain and aligns with the International Welfare Quality Protocols.
The certification, controlled and certified by an independent external entity, is based on the evaluation of 12 parameters, including, among others, feeding, shelter, health and freedom, that are necessary for the wellbeing of livestock.
This recognition includes around 100 national producers, three slaughterhouses, three cutting plants and a central meat processing unit.
All production locations were audited to verify compliance with the measures of the Welfare Quality Protocol. Continente has obtained the Welfair seal, certified by CERTIS, the national certification body accredited by the Institute of Agrifood Research Technology (IRTA).
Last year, Continente increased purchases of Portuguese meat to 57,000 tonnes, with emphasis on the beef category, where it doubled its purchases, leveraging on the Angus and Limousin breeds and indigenous breeds.
Elsewhere, Pingo Doce also obtained Animal Welfare certification for its Portuguese Angus meat, in line with the Welfair protocol. The seal has been issued by the Spanish Association for Standardisation and Certification (AENOR).
The Pingo Doce Angus meat originates from Best Farmer farms, a Jerónimo Martins Group company, located in Cartaxo and Manhente, as well as from national producers who work directly with Best Farmer.
The award of certification reflects the respect with which the animals are treated. It is based on four fundamental aspects – good quality and balanced feed; good facilities; animal health and appropriate space designed for the manifestation of natural animal behaviour.
The retailer’s Angus meat is reared by 200 of the best Portuguese producers, who work in close partnership with the brand.
Established more than a decade ago, the innovative project has made it possible to develop a breed that was previously not bred in Portugal.