UK supermarket launches new welfare logo

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The logo, the first for animal welfare, features either a chicken, cow, pig, lamb or fish in a heart shape and will be placed on a variety of fresh produce.

The company that received the Compassion in World Agriculture Awards for Best Retailer as well CIWF prices for good egg and chickenis committed to only selling birds sourced to industry-leading high animal welfare standards.

This means all chickens – whether whole chickens, chicken pieces or ingredients in ready meals and sandwiches – are raised with 20% more space than the industry standard and with bales of straw to sit on to keep them fit and active. Free-range, organic, and corn-fed organic birds perform to even higher standards, with more space per bird and outdoor access for at least half of their lives.

The British Blacktail

The company highlights that it has not sold caged eggs since 2001 and since 2008 has become the first UK supermarket to only sell free-range chickens suitable for outdoor living.

Jemima Jewell, Partner and Head of Corporate Responsibility, said: “The new brand is a promise to customers of our animal welfare standards. We work closely with our UK farmers to ensure all farm animals that supply the meat products we sell are raised to high welfare standards and we have an unrivaled pedigree of good animal welfare practices.”

Emily McGowan, a sixth generation poultry farmer from a small mixed farm in Killinchy, County Down, Northern Ireland, is the voice of Waitrose producers in the promotion. She says working with Waitrose helps the family because “as long as we get things right we are guaranteed a good price. This means we can give the birds a better life and the customer gets better chickens.”

McGowan said the family had been raising chickens for Waitrose for some time as animal welfare was a big part of the appeal of supplying the business: “They live in light, airy houses with 20% more space than the industry standard and good ventilation and heating, so that the ground is always nice and dry for them. They have access to food and water at all times and we give them bales of straw to play with. They are totally mesmerized by the balls – they really have a lot of fun with them.”

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