Leading ethical convenience retailer, the Co-op, received a Compassion in World Farming Good Pig Award on Thursday 21 June in recognition of its policy to only use 100% British outdoor-bred pigs from RSPCA Assured farms across its own-brand fresh pork, bacon, gammon, sausages and ham.
The prestigious award, which was presented at a ceremony in Paris, recognises companies that use higher welfare systems for sows and meat pigs.
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, 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 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-op’s switch to outdoor bred pork, which was announced back in March, further bolsters the retailer’s animal welfare credentials and means that all pigs within its producer group will be born outdoors and raised in well-ventilated, spacious straw barns to strict RSPCA welfare standards.
By partnering with Tulip Ltd, the UK’s largest high-welfare pig producer, the Co-op has been able to establish an RSCPA Assured, outdoor-bred pork supply chain offering total traceability from farm to fork in which sows are free from confinement and pigs are able to fully express their natural behaviours.
Furthermore, the 100% outdoor promise is set to be rolled out across both standard and premium Co-op ranges.