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Waitrose Introduces Greener British Pork

by 5m Editor
17 November 2009, at 8:20am

UK - In a bid to cut carbon emissions and create a more sustainable pork supply chain, Waitrose has announced a grain sourcing initiative for its pig farmers. The multi million pound deal, the first of its kind in the country, will mean that BQP/Dalehead Foods will source wheat and barley through the farmer-owned cooperative, Openfield, from within a 50 mile radius of the mill used to manufacture pig feed.

The initiative further strengthens Waitrose’s partnership with British farmers through the sharing of best practice. This includes processors Dalehead Foods, producer BQP, animal feed compounder BOCM Pauls, grain merchant Openfield and its farmer members. It will also deliver significant improvements to the carbon footprint of the pork products through a reduction in transport and improved quality control.

Heather Jenkins, Waitrose buying director responsible for meat, poultry, fish, frozen and dairy said, “A first in the United Kingdom, this initiative is a fantastic example of how, through communication and drive, collaboration continues to make new ground. We are proud of our pig farming model developed with BQP, where the pigs are outdoor-bred and finished on straw. High animal welfare is paramount and so is an efficient supply chain. This initiative will further strengthen its efficiency and underpin its sustainability“.

Andrew Saunders, managing director, BQP, said, “We already operate an efficient customer-focussed supply chain; however we constantly look for opportunities for improvement and by sourcing grain from local farmers we can all benefit by removing unnecessary costs associated with transport, administration and trading, as well as helping the environment.

“The new agreement confirms the commitment that Waitrose has made to support the British farming industry and is an excellent example of how a major retailer can deliver real benefits to both the consumer and its suppliers.“

Waitrose is the only major United Kingdom retailer to source all of its pork from RSPCA Freedom Food accredited British pigs which are born and bred outside and finished on straw. The same meat is used in the production of its entire range of ready meals, sausages and pies etc.