RSPCA's Supermarket Animal Welfare Competition

GENERAL - The Royal Society for Protection of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) is calling on the British public to vote for their favourite animal-friendly supermarket.
calendar icon 14 August 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

As part of the Good Business Awards, the new People's Choice Supermarket award in conjunction with The Independent recognises the British supermarket that is making the biggest strides to improve animal welfare.

Three of the UK's best-loved supermarkets are in the running for the title. All three have been selected by the judging panel for their commitment to achieving the highest standards of animal welfare.

"This is the fifth year of the Good Business Awards, and we felt it was important to reward the efforts being made by supermarkets that go the extra mile to promote animal welfare, and recognise that consumers haven't left behind their ethics in a quest for value," says RSPCA Head of external affairs, David Bowles.

"Through the People's Choice Supermarket award we want to give the public a chance to voice their opinions and reward the supermarket they believe has listened to them and made the biggest strides in improving animal welfare."

Finalists for the award are:

The Co-operative, for a continued commitment to animal welfare. This high volume retailer applies animal welfare policies right across their product ranges. Achievements include:

  • First retailer to adopt RSPCA Freedom Food scheme in 1994 - stocks one of the largest ranges.
  • Stopped selling eggs from caged hens - by end of 2009 all eggs as ingredients will also be free-range.
  • All fresh & frozen chicken is reared to higher welfare Elmwood standard - this improves the lives of 20 million chickens each year!
  • Truly Irresistible fresh pork, bacon and sausage ranges are from Freedom Food approved farms.

M&S, for its position as a trailblazer and its commitment to animal welfare through investment in research and a group of dedicated suppliers. Achievements include:

  • 100 per cent free-range policy for whole eggs since 1997 and for eggs as ingredients since 2002.
  • Since 2002 all fresh chicken is either Oakham or free range Oakham chicken - slower grown with more space allowance and objects to peck and perch on.
  • All fresh pork is outdoor-bred and a proportion is free-range.
  • Banned continental white veal in 2008 and moved to higher welfare British veal.

Sainsbury's, for its ability to provide good value for money without compromising on animal welfare. Achievements include:

  • Stopped selling eggs from caged hens February 2009, improving the welfare of over half a million hens.
  • Own-brand Woodland Eggs and Woodland Chicken provides increased shelter and results in better animal welfare for significant numbers of birds.
  • All Scottish salmon is sustainably sourced from Freedom Food-accredited farms
  • The largest range of RSPCA Freedom Food labelled products - chicken, eggs, duck, turkey, pork and salmon.

Richard Johnson, judge, TV presenter and journalist, says: "There is a growing consumer demand for welfare-friendly products which doesn't seem to have been affected by the economic downturn. TV coverage on the plight of chickens and pigs has had a profound effect on the public and customers want to buy from supermarkets who make being animal-friendly easy by using suppliers that rear their animals with humanity."

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