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UK's Shadow Minister Praises Unique Agricultural Partnership

by 5m Editor
31 January 2007, at 4:07pm

UK - Shadow Agriculture Minister, James Paice MP has paid tribute to the unique partnership between Dalehead Foods and supermarket chain Waitrose after spending a day following the pork production process quite literally from ‘field to fork’.

BQP comprises around 227 pig farms run by agistors across East Anglia and the South West dedicated to supplying Waitrose with its award winning range of pork products.

All BQP farms are carefully selected to ensure the highest standards of animal welfare and this unique partnership sees BQP provide its farmers with a package of support including feed supply, veterinary services and a guaranteed price per pig to all of its farmers.

It is an approach that is clearly paying dividends for BQP who has seen its share of UK pig production grow to 7.5% over recent years. It currently slaughters around half a million pigs a year, all of which are processed into a range of premium quality products for sale in Waitrose stores across the UK.

Dalehead supplies 100% of Waitrose’s fresh pork and bacon and 70% of their sausages from its UK farms and has recently in conjunction with the retailer re-introduced the Berkshire breed back into the UK.

Mr Paice MP visited two BQP farms, a 1,000 sow outdoor breed unit and a 1,200 indoor straw based wean to finish pig unit. He chatted with farmers to learn more about their partnerships with BQP before moving on to visit Dalehead’s slaughter and processing facilities in Cambridgeshire.

“I have really enjoyed touring the BQP, Dalehead and Waitrose supply chain. Its partnership with its farmers sets an excellent example to the rest of the food industry by ensuring the highest standards of animal welfare are delivered in a sustainable manner.

“A lot of valuable lessons can be learned from how BQP and Dalehead manages its supply chain to the benefit of both the agricultural industry and ultimately the consumer by providing a range of top quality British food products.”

Andrew Saunders, Commercial Director Dalehead Foods explains “Our entire business is built around the three way partnership between the farmers, Waitrose and ourselves and it is this relationship that is key to all of our success.

“Waitrose is a growing business and we in turn need to grow to fulfil our commitment to supply it with top quality British pork, this is an exciting time for us and we are always interested in hearing from ambitious, forward thinking farmers looking to join the existing network of BQP farms.”

Ends (with pic, caption L-R: James Paice MP, Andrew Saunders Commercial Director and Howard Revell Pig Production Manager Dalehead Foods)

ThePigSite News Desk

5m Editor