From Saturday 7 July we’re switching to 100% ‘outdoor-bred’ own brand fresh pork in all our stores
All Co-op own-brand standard and premium fresh pork, bacon, sausage and gammon products are now obtained from 100% outdoor-bred pigs which have come from RSPCA Assured farms.
This means all pigs within our producer group will be born outdoors and raised in well-ventilated, spacious straw barns which demonstrates our commitment to animal welfare.
By partnering with Tulip Ltd, the UK’s largest high-welfare pig producer, we’ve been able to establish an RSCPA Assured outdoor-bred pork supply chain offering total traceability from farm to fork, where sows are free from confinement and pigs are able to fully express their natural behaviours.
Traditionally, “higher welfare” produce can be more expensive, but following the switch our product prices will not rise. The aim of the switch is to provide higher welfare product at the same cost to our customers.
In recognition of our commitment, last month we collected a major animal welfare award from ‘Compassion in World Farming’, a leading organisation who place farm animal welfare at the heart of the food industry. Olivia Nicholson, Agricultural Development Manager – Pork, attended the ceremony in Paris to collect the ‘Good Pig Award’.
Jo Whitfield, Retail CEO, Co-op, said:
“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 pork 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 will be working hard with innovative and passionate British farmers who share our principles, to provide exceptional quality pork produce with a conscience.”
Clive Brazier, CEO RSPCA Assured, said:
“Thanks to the Co-op many more pigs will have a better life reared to RSPCA welfare standards. And not only that, but the Co-op is helping bust the perception that higher welfare food always means a higher retail price.
Shoppers can be confident that, no matter what their budget is, all own-brand fresh pork products in the Co-op will be RSPCA Assured. This is a major step forward in helping improve pig welfare and we hope other retailers will follow suit.”
Our outdoor bred pork commitment follows our previous switch to using 100% British own-brand fresh meat announced in May last year. This was alongside a further £1bn investment into sourcing home-grown meat and fresh produce.