UK's Co-op Receives 'Good Pig Award' For High Welfare Pork Operations
Britain's Co-operative Group has been awarded the ‘Good Pig Award’ from the Compassion In World Farming charity.
The company received the award in recognition of its policy of only using 100% British pigs bred outdoors from Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) Assured farms across its private-label fresh pork, bacon, gammon, sausages, and ham products.
The Co-op partnered with Tulip Ltd., the largest high-welfare pig producer in Britain, and has been able to create an RSPCA-Assured, outdoor-bred pork supply chain which is completely traceable from farm to fork.
The retailer's move to use only outdoor-bred pork was announced in March 2018. This commitment means that all pigs will be born outdoors and raised in large and well-ventilated straw barns, held to the strictest of RSPCA welfare standards.
In this element, sows are free from confinement and pigs are able to ‘fully express their natural behaviours’, according to the Co-op. The 100% outdoor policy will be rolled out across standard and premium Co-op ranges.
Higher Welfare Efforts
The award, presented at a ceremony in Paris, is given to companies which use higher welfare systems for meat pigs and sows.
Tracey Jones, director of food business at Compassion in World Farming said, "We wholeheartedly congratulate the Co-op for making this move to higher welfare pig production across both their standard and premium own brand products.
"By doing so they are not only addressing key issues such as confinement and the need to provide pigs with a stimulating environment, but they are making higher welfare the norm and meeting their customers’ expectations."
Jo Whitfield, the retail CEO of Co-op, commented, “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 have received a Good Pig Award from Compassion in World Farming for our pioneering approach to our pig offering.
"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 are working hard with innovative and passionate British farmers who share our principles, to provide exceptional quality pork produce with a conscience."
The Co-operative Group reported a 25% rise in annual profit in April and said this year it would expand its convenience store network and enter new sectors.
© 2018 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Karen Henderson. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.