London, 2016-Jul-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — Waitrose’s Italian continental meat supplier has been awarded the prestigious Good Pig Award 2016 by Compassion in World Farming, in recognition of its work to raise farm animal welfare standards.
Traditionally, animal welfare standards for continental meat have lagged behind those of British meats. However, a long term partnership between Waitrose and its supplier has resulted in Compassion in World Farming awarding a Good Pig Award to a major Italian producer for the first time.
Fumagalli, a 4th generation family business based near Lake Como in Northern Italy, work with Winterbotham Darby to exclusively supply Waitrose with the supermarkets’ own label Italian charcuterie. This award has been given in recognition of the 5 years of work Fumagalli have carried out to raise the bar for pig welfare at their farms.
The industry-leading developments on the farm provide far more space for each pig than EU legislation. Each sow will also now have larger breeding facilities including free farrowing and no pigs will be subjected to tail docking or teeth clipping.
Fumagalli, a producer of charcuterie since 1920, control the whole production process from breeding to curing to exclusively produce Waitrose’s Italian meats such as prosciutto, parma ham and pancetta.
Continental meats are hugely popular amongst Waitrose customers – with the supermarket significantly overtrading in the area – and with consumers taking a more heightened interest than ever in where their food comes from, the award winning Italian charcuterie builds further upon Waitrose’s leading provenance credentials.
Heather Jenkins, Waitrose Agriculture Director, says: ‘A true focus on animal welfare is a key point of difference for Waitrose and we’re proud that our long-term partnership with Winterbotham Darby has resulted in achieving the Good Pig Award.’
The Compassion in World Farming Awards recognise and reward producers, manufacturers, food service companies, retailers and public bodies for working in a sustainable and responsible way. To add to the Good Pig Award, Waitrose is the holder of the current Best Retailer Award from Compassion, as well as holding Good Pig, Good Chicken, Good Egg and Good Dairy awards across its range of products.
Tracey Jones, Director of Food Business at Compassion says: ‘Fumagalli’s Good Pig Award demonstrates how an ethical retailer like Waitrose, through its supplier Winterbotham Darby, can really drive improvements in countries not generally known for their higher welfare standards.
‘Waitrose are the first retailer in the UK to ensure such high welfare standards for pigs extend beyond their fresh pork, bacon and sausages into continental, specialty cured meats. They are a true leader in farm animal welfare in the UK, and their ethical reach is really starting to effect positive change across Europe.’
Following the development of these high welfare standards in Italy, Winterbotham Darby are now implementing the same standards for continental meat across Spain, France, Belgium and Germany and their Spanish Iberico supplier has recently been awarded the Good Sow Commendation.
David Houghton, Technical Director at Winterbotham Darby, says: ‘We have been working with our Italian farmers for over fifteen years, building long term sustainable partnerships which has enabled this big step forward, and we are committed to achieving the Good Pig Award in each of the countries we supply product to Waitrose.’
Another Waitrose supplier to pick up an award at this year’s CiWF event was Clarence Court, which supplies the retailer with specialty hen, duck, goose and quail eggs. The supplier received a Good Egg award for its ‘free-to-fly’ quail eggs. Though no EU legislation or industry standard exists for quail farming, Clarence Court developed its own indoor barn system to provide a higher welfare alternative to the caged systems commonly used across Europe. This ensures the quails are reared in a stocking density that allows them to express their natural behaviour such as dust-bathing, scratching and pecking and offers them enrichment and natural light.
Notes to editors
Waitrose – winner of the Best Supermarket1 and Best Food Retailer2 awards- currently has 348 shops in England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands, including 60 convenience branches, and another 27 shops at Welcome Break locations. It combines the convenience of a supermarket with the expertise and service of a specialist shop – dedicated to offering quality food that has been responsibly sourced, combined with high standards of customer service. Waitrose also exports its products to 58 countries worldwide and has eight shops which operate under licence in the Middle East. Waitrose’s omnichannel business includes the online grocery service Waitrose.com, as well as specialist online shops including waitrosecellar.com for wine and waitrosekitchen.com for cookware, utensils and kitchen gadgets.
¹ Which? Customer Survey
² Verdict Customer Satisfaction Awards
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