17 August 1999
Asda clamps down on Dutch pig welfare
By FWi staff
DUTCH farmers supplying bacon to Asda will now have to meet the same welfare standards that UK producers endure.
The standards exceed those set out by the Agriculture Select Committee and will mean the small quantity of Asdas bacon range imported from Holland (17%) is now produced in conditions that match those required of UK producers.
All bacon imported by Holland will now not only be stall and tether-free and bonemeal-free, but will also have been reared under a non-castration policy.
A maximum number of pigs per drinking bowl and nipple and a maximum number of pigs per linear foot of feeding trough will also be included in the new standards.
John Cleland, Asda director of meat, said the UK pig industry has seen for too long the difference in welfare regulations between the UK and the rest of Europe create an uneven playing field.
The announcement levels the ground for UK pig farmers and sends a clear message to our customers that not only is Asda bacon of finest quality but meets the most stringent welfare regulations, he added.
The British Pig Industry Support Group (BPISG) announced a series of food safety and welfare challenges to major supermarkets last week, by demanding to know the origin of a number of products including the original source by label.
A spokeswoman from Asda welcomed the actions of the BPISG and said that if spot labelling checks were carried out on any Asda stores they would trace them without a doubt.
British pig producers have become increasingly frustrated by cheaper imports – which they claim are lowering UK producer prices – entering the country